Acting Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds.
PLAN FOR HAZARDS
Thu, 03/17/2016 - 7:17pm
Holetown community benefits from Caribe Wave Tsunami exercise
Regina Selman Moore
Commercial businesses, faith-based organisations and key persons from the community of Holetown in St. James benefited recently from the Caribe Wave 2016 Tsunami and Earthquake Exercise, designed to better aid them in their readiness for these coastal hazards.
Acting Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, acknowledged that the purpose of the exercise held at the All Seasons Europa Resort, Palm Avenue, Sunset Crest, St. James, was to also test the effectiveness of early warning provisions by those responsible for the management of emergencies in the region and as such, a number of simulations were held.
“We are here at the exercise Caribe Wave 2016. This is an annual exercise related to tsunami and earthquake preparedness, which is done around the Caribbean and the adjacent region. So a number of countries including Barbados, are actually participating in this exercise today,” Hinds told members of the media.
“Here in Barbados, we’ve decided to do a tabletop exercise with the Holetown community. So there are a number of businesses and community persons from the public and private sector, (who) are a part of the exercise today and we actually have faith-based organisations as well. We are basically sensitising persons to the earthquake and tsunami hazards and having a candid discussion about their preparedness plans and standard operating procedures, as it relates to earthquakes and tsunamis,” Hinds explained.
“Coming out of today’s exercise, we would want persons to go back to their respective entities and sit down and have a discussion and develop their businesses’ continuity plans, as it relates to earthquake and tsunami hazards specifically. I know persons would have a number of these plans, taking into consideration the hurricane hazard or storm threat, but we want them specifically to look at annexes, as it relates to the earthquake and tsunami hazards. We want persons to be aware that these hazards can affect Barbados and put measures in place to respond to them,” Hinds remarked.
Acknowledging that there are varying degrees of readiness on the part of those participating in Thursday’s exercise, Hinds however noted that there is a greater level of awareness amongst participants at present, of the need to have plans and procedures in place. She expressed her hope that in a year’s time, she could say definitely, that 100 per cent of businesses and residents in that community have tsunami and earthquake preparedness plans, that have been adequately tested, validated and well ventilated as well.