By anguillian May 2, 2017 10:29



On Wednesday 26th April 2017, Tropical Shipping in collaboration with Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACOCI), the Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association (AHTA) and Caribbean Central American Action (C-CAA) from Washington, DC, held the Disaster Management Workshop 2017 Series – ‘Building a Culture of Preparedness when Seconds Count’ at La Vue Boutique Inn.

As disasters are not only hurricanes but include the earthquakes, flooding, consequences of hazardous materials, fire, or terrorist activities, over 60 participants of Government officials, private and public sector representatives, and representatives of statutory bodies were educated on disaster management best practices fitting the theme – ‘Building Community Resiliency, through strategic Private public partnerships.’
Mr. Mark Lopez, Assistant VP of Tropical Shipping of the Eastern Caribbean, provided an overview of the workshop . He stated, “Tropical Shipping has been hosting workshops on disaster management for the past 20 years throughout the Caribbean, to promote collaboration between public and public sectors for swift recoveries after natural disasters.” He made reference to the recent devastation of Dominica by Hurricane Erika. The hurricane caused excessive damage to Dominica’s coconut products which were responsible for approximately 15 % of the country’s GDP.

Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks emphasized the importance of the workshop for Anguilla as regards disaster management and preparedness – and not forgetting the importance of the aftermath efforts in the disaster plan.
Mr. Keithley Lake, President of ACOCI, expressed his gratitude to Tropical Shipping for sponsoring and coordinating the workshop, and observed that, “in the Caribbean we have to get away from the notion that disasters are only hurricanes.” He went on: “The need for disaster management has become more critical and complex…If there is not proper planning the recovery can become an existential issue.”

President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, Mr. Delroy Lake, underscored the need for residents and businesses to be prepared in case of a disaster. He cited the impact of Hurricane Luis and Hurricane Lenny on Anguilla – the resultant devastation – noting that hotels were closed for a very long period of time.

“After 22 years, we still have significant strides to make to get all on board in our disaster preparedness goals. Our hotels and resorts are still failing to follow our national hurricane preparedness plan,” Lake claimed.

He observed that “disasters caused by hurricanes should have taught us lessons” and pointed out that there was “a need for more consultations on threats like terrorism, earthquakes, and tsunamis as tourism is too important to the island for any threats we may face to become a disaster. We should not only rely on the Department of Disaster Management but, that, as a country we must plan and organize an effective disaster response system on all levels. As a family, community and business sector disaster preparedness is everybody’s business.”

During the late morning session, the participants were divided into two groups to brainstorm and discuss the topics – “The Economic Impact of Disasters’ and ‘The Economic Impact and Reputational damage of Cyber Crime breach’.

The workshop included presentations by Melissa Meade, Director of Department of Disaster Management; University of the Virgin Islands Member of CARICOOS, Professor Roy Watlington (retired); Rick Murrell, CEO Tropical Shipping, and Jennifer Nugent-Hill, Director of Governmental & Community Affairs.

By anguillian May 2, 2017 10:29


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