NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 20, 2013) – Despite the development of only four storms to date, residents of Nevis must be aware that we are coming close to the traditionally high point of the Hurricane Season which is September.
Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department Lester Blackett gave the reminder during an interview with the Department of Information on August 15, 2013, immediately following the first meeting for 2013 of the Nevis Disaster Management Committee. According to Blackett, the meeting covered a range of topics and received reports from the heads of various NIA Ministries and agencies and the chairpersons of the subcommittees in the disaster management structure.
“We gave an update of the 2013 Hurricane Season which as recently updated to indicate that it’s still expected that there will be an above average season…therefore, the general public, if you haven’t made precautions and plans, kindly ensure that over the next week or so that you do so,” Blackett said, advising residents to keep a close track of any developing tropical weather systems.
He also indicated that an updated list of the 2013 Emergency Shelters was available on the department’s Web site: www.nevisdm.com and on its Facebook page: “Nevis Disaster Management Department.”
In addition to being presented with the organisational structure of disaster management as a whole, Blackett explained that the Committee discussed critical issues specific to the outline of the work programme for disaster management on the island.
“Reports were also presented from the School Safety Programme and a project which would be rolled out next week at a meeting in St. Kitts. They were able to indicate what has been done in terms of school safety and what is proposed to be done over the next few months,” Blackett said, referring to a report made by Technology Coordinator in the Department of Education Laurence Richards.
“The School Programme as Mr. Richards may indicate to you has actually had one or two exercises as far as tsunami alerts and reactions,” Blackett said.
Also part of the meeting’s agenda was the presentation of an extensive damage and economic loss assessment, in the event of a disaster of any kind, made by the Department of Statistics and Economic Planning. It gave information to the participants in terms of how the assessment was conducted and the mechanism used.
The Director of Disaster Management also gave an update on the Emergency Operation Centre and offices, which is currently under construction.
“The participants were shown a plan. The intention was to give them a tour, however, due to the extended time for the meeting, that was not possible but persons were asked to come back on their own time and they would be given a tour so they would be familiar with the new facility when it is completed. We’re hoping that it will be completed by November,” he said.
According to Blackett, the meeting was a successful one under the chairmanship of Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Management in the Nevis Island Administration Hon. Vance Amory.