Wednesday, October 28 – The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is supporting its colleagues in Anguilla as they make preparations to complete the baseline assessment needed for emergency management accreditation.
The Emergency Management Accreditation Programme provides standards and an accreditation process for disaster management programmes throughout the world and is aimed at fostering excellence and accountability in disaster management. The peer-review assessment process recognises compliance with industry standards, demonstrates accountability and focuses attention on areas and issues where resources are needed.
Director DDM, Ms. Sharleen DaBreo welcomed the opportunity to assist other Territories. She said, “We are very pleased that we are able to provide technical assistance to our colleagues in Anguilla as they prepare for the baseline assessment which is scheduled for December 7 to 11, 2015. Our Accreditation Manager, Ms. Sheniah Armstrong is in Anguilla assisting them to formulate the necessary documentation for the assessment. We believe that a lot of effort has been put into building a framework for disaster management in the region and the Overseas Territories all have the potential to gain accreditation.”
Ms DaBreo added that the BVI was able to gain compliance in all 64 standards and achieve full accreditation in April of this year. She said the experience was enlightening and allowed the department to document the successes gained in implementing the Disaster Management Programme in the Territory since its inception.
The Director stated, “It’s important that we are able to share our experience and expertise with countries that are willing to go through this very important process. Achieving EMAP accreditation was significant for the BVI as it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to delivering a quality disaster management programme that is recognized internationally.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is in full support of the accreditation process and made financial commitments to ensuring that all Overseas Territories benefit from the baseline assessment. They have also supported the BVI in covering the accreditation fees associated with gaining full accreditation for the Virgin Islands Comprehensive Disaster Management programme.
The Cayman Islands completed their assessment in July and the Turks and Caicos Islands followed in September. Bermuda is expected to undertake an assessment in January along with Montserrat. The assessments identified the areas where additional work is needed in order for these programme to gain accreditation.
Over the past three years, EMAP has acquired a 77% increase in accredited programs. The EMAP is the only accreditation process that provides the opportunity for emergency management programs to be evaluated and recognised for compliance and is valid for five years.
So far EMAP has accredited 32 state programmes, 27 local programmes, eight federal programmes in the United States; three Institutes of Higher Education and two International Programme including Canada and the British Virgin Islands.