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You are here: Homepage > Press Room > Press Releases 2009 > Hurricane Sambula Table Top Exercise

Published 7th May 2009, 2:46pm

Every year, the Cayman Islands organises a national hurricane exercise designed to test the National Hurricane Plan and to allow players to rehearse their roles at various stages of activation. The exercise can take several forms including a Table Top Exercise, Functional Exercise or a Full-Scale Exercise.

“This year a Table Top exercise has been selected,” explained Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) Deputy Director Don Druitt. “We have named the exercise ‘Hurricane Sambula,’ after the well-known Cayman Islands Meteorologist Mr. Fred Sambula.”

A typical table Top Exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting and it can be a very useful tool for assessing plans, policies and procedures. “The scenario is expected to provide a reasonably realistic depiction of a hurricane on approach, the impact and post impact and it will allow us to examine the Country’s planning mechanisms.”

The exercise basically re-creates the environment of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). Before, during and after a hurricane there is an entity known as the ‘Policy Group’ at work inside the NEOC. The Policy Group includes a number of very senior managers in government, such as the Chief Secretary the Hon. George McCarthy, Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks and Cabinet Secretary Orrett Connor amongst others. Some of the functions of this group include providing information and advice to H.E. the Governor and the Leader of Government Business in respect to existing and projected conditions and actions taken or intended. Also in the NEOC are representatives from 17 sub-committees. Each of the 17 sub-committees has a specific area of responsibility. For example there is sub-committee dealing with law enforcement, another works on shelter operations, debris clearance and so on. These 17 sub-committees are then grouped together into four clusters and each cluster has a Manager. The Cluster Managers are Mr. Dan Duguay, Mr. Roydell Carter, Mrs. Deanna Lookloy and Superintendent Adrian Seales of the RCIPS.

“The 2009 Exercise Hurricane Sambula is to be conducted in two parts on 5 May 2009 and provides the opportunity for players to rehearse the NEOC systems and procedures, test their knowledge of existing procedures, validate those procedures and recommend changes to them.” Don Druitt then explained that the morning session is for the NEOC Policy Group and the afternoon session is for the NEOC Cluster Members. “We hope to achieve a number of goals. Obviously it is important to practice and plan for hurricanes so we can improve our overall level of preparedness, mitigation and response, but we also need to look at specific areas, such as improving inter-agency coordination, we are going to evaluate the training needs of the personnel involved in the command and control of crisis situations with a view to filling any gaps and also we will assess the response capability and coordination of the various agencies involved in the exercise. Finally we hope to identify areas of response that may need strengthening.”

For more information please contact:

Simon Boxall
Awareness and Communications Officer
Hazard Management Cayman Islands
Telephone 926 2027
Email Simon.Boxall@gov.ky