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Fast fleet tanker

Published 10th January 2013, 4:9pm

The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) has donated various emergency response items to the Cayman Islands Government. Shelter kits, which contain two tarpaulins, water containers, water purification tablets and other items, are included in the stores.

Hazard Management Cayman Islands has now taken possession of the items and will make them available if they are needed following a natural disaster or other significant impact.

HMCI Director, McCleary Frederick thanked the U.K. Government for the donation. “The supplies donated by DFID will assist us tremendously if we are impacted by a storm. The Shelter Kits will be of great assistance to people needing to cover the roof of their house if that becomes necessary. There are water purification tablets, water containers and funnels to fill the water bottles: these are all useful supplies to have available, to assist us in responding quickly and effectively in a crisis.”

The relief supplies were initially sent to the Cayman Islands in 2010. At that time, the Cayman Islands was chosen to be the storage hub for DFID disaster relief stores for the region. The Cayman Islands Red Cross was responsible for managing the inventory. With Cayman established as the holding and distribution centre in the Caribbean, RFA Wave Ruler stopped off in George Town in August 2010 to replenish the ship’s stock of relief items, in particular water purification tablets, which became depleted following operations in St Lucia after Hurricane Thomas.

In 2012 a decision was then taken by DFID to distribute the items up amongst the overseas territories, this would allow for the supplies to be on hand in the immediate aftermath of an event, rather than having to transport them. The U.K. Government has indicated that disaster relief is one of their regional priorities and in the aftermath of Hurricane Paloma in 2008, RFA Wave Ruler provided humanitarian assistance to Cayman Brac.

Steve Moore, Head of the Governor’s Office said “the UK Military of Defense (MOD) is committed to providing a military presence in the Caribbean region to deliver security and reassurance to the U.K. Overseas Territories, as well as providing assistance in the event of a natural disaster.” 

In addition to the disaster relief stores which have been donated by DFID, ships like the RFA Wave Knight (which is currently deployed in the Caribbean region) also travels with a limited variety of disaster relief supplies and can assist with providing food, water and shelter, as required, as well as offering medical support, damage control, fire fighting, and the ability to set up temporary medical facilities. RFA Wave Knight is a fast fleet tanker and can provide over 20,000 litres of water in the first 24 hours, and has the ability to generate power and a Navy Lynx helicopter may also be made available to conduct the preliminary damage assessment following a hurricane impact.