The success, statistically proved, of the civil defense system in Cuba have been justified differently worldwide. While some experts relate this fact to the social welfare others debate about the forced evacuation. Beside, the long term development of disaster reduction in the country is commonly forgotten by many disaster experts. This paper presents a pragmatic analysis of the evolution of the civil defense system in Cuba and the key factors for their success. The analysis of the system started from disaster recovery missions many years ago to more focus on disaster risk reduction tasks nowadays. Local risk management centers, multi-hazard risk assessment and early warning systems are also discussed with focus on their success factors. The continuous development and improvement of the multi-lateral framework for the civil defense system was found among the key issues concerning with the achievement
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