Caribe Wave Tsunami Exercise
Published 10th March 2021, 9:45am
CAYMAN ISLANDS (GIS) – Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) will, once again, be taking part in the annual CARIBE WAVE 2021 Earthquake and Tsunami Simulation Exercise on Thursday, 11 March 2021 to increase Cayman’s preparedness towards this threat.
As part of the exercise, HMCI will be testing the National Emergency Notification System’s (NENS) radio interrupt service. A test radio alert will be issued across all local radio stations soon after 9am on the day.
In addition, approximately 75 volunteers from the community will take part in stress-testing an emergency alert mobile application which is currently in development as part of phase two of NENS.
HMCI is encouraging residents, local businesses and school students to join the hundreds of people and organisations across the Caribbean in practicing their own earthquake and tsunami plans on the day.
“Exercising helps to build muscle memory. You are much more likely to respond in an appropriate way to a real event if you have practiced in advance,” explained Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers. I encourage all residents to consider what you would do, and how you would react in a real event to keep yourself and your family safe.”
“I welcome this exercise as preparation is key to effective disaster response. The 7.7 magnitude earthquake which occurred in January 2020 was a stark reminder to many in our community that earthquakes with the potential for tsunamis are a very real threat for the Cayman Islands. While earthquakes and in particular tsunamis occur infrequently, it makes sense to consider the risks and prepare in advance of an actual event. This preparation could make the difference in terms of your safety and the safety of your family members,” commented Governor Martyn Roper.
“We hope to see many of Cayman’s students using the exercise as an opportunity to practice the correct earthquake response with their classmates in a familiar setting. HMCI has worked extensively with the Ministry of Education over the past 12 months to build added resilience into Cayman’s schools by ensuring appropriate earthquake risk assessments are completed. Every school is now required to submit their earthquake plan to HMCI for our input,” said the Director of HMCI, Danielle Coleman.
CARIBE WAVE 2021 is open to everyone. Anyone interested in taking part can register using the following link (https://www.tsunamizone.org/register/) to receive notifications during the exercise.
If residents wish to participate, individuals are encouraged to practice the “drop, cover and hold” earthquake response procedure by dropping to the floor, covering their head with a table or their hands and holding on to a sturdy structure such as a table leg.
Following the “Duck, Cover and Hold; residents should then consider how they would respond after shaking has stopped. Due to the possibility that earthquakes can also trigger tsunamis, residents should be aware that if they feel a ‘long’ or ‘strong’ earthquake, they should “Get to Higher Ground,” and that is most important if you are on the coast, or in a low lying area - ‘higher ground’ may be upper floors of concrete buildings that are not obviously structurally damaged by the earthquake – residents are then encouraged to tune into the local radio stations and wait till the ‘Tsunami All Clear’ has been given. If you are on a boat, head out to sea, if you are in your car, pull over, put your hazard lights on and keep your seat belt fastened.
For a hazard assessment of your organization, individuals can contact Simon Boxall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-3766 to arrange a meeting.