Overseas Territories Disaster Management Seminar
Published 18th June 2010, 1:42pm
Overseas Territories Directorate (OTD) held its Caribbean hurricane season preparedness seminar for all of the Caribbean Overseas Territories in Miami on 10 and 11 June. The seminar was co-funded by DFID.
Representatives from all the Governors’ offices and Overseas Territories (OT) disaster management departments from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands briefed on local preparedness and exchanged ideas on best practice mutual assistance. Attendees also visited the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami to gain a deeper insight to the forecasting and behaviour of Caribbean hurricanes. The NHC is currently forecasting a very active season, with up to 28 named storms, of which up to 15 may be hurricanes (Cat 1 - sustained winds over 74 mph) and 7 may be major hurricanes (Cat 3 – sustained winds over 111mph).
A key component of the annual seminar is the attendance of officers from the RN Atlantic Patrol Task force North (APTN, (which comprises a frigate/destroyer and a RFA), which enables the OTs to brief the taskforce on OT infrastructure and where they could add most value in the event of a direct hit and also to discuss training visits from vessels from the Taskforce. The Commander and senior officers from HMS Manchester, which has deployed to the region for the duration of the season (1 June – 30 November) as APT(N), briefed OT representatives on their capabilities in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane and how the territories could make the best use of the ship’s scheduled visits to test hurricane plans.
The DFID Caribbean Disaster Risk Reduction Adviser based in Barbados, who co-funded the Seminar, informed OT delegates about DFID’s preparedness for the hurricane season and the make-up and deployment of emergency supplies and equipment.
In addition to members of the disaster management team in OTD, the event was also attended by the US Coast Guard, Defence Adviser from Kingston, the Consular Regional Director for the Caribbean, Regional Maritime Training Coordinator for the OTs based in the British Virgin Islands and OTs’ Law Enforcement Adviser based in Miami.