June 17, 2021492Views

The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC), is set to meet virtually on Friday, June 18, to discuss Territorial hurricane readiness and consider strategic steps to finalise seasonal preparedness for the Territory.

The inter-agency body sets territorial disaster risk reduction policy and is made up of leaders from government departments and ministries, statutory bodies, and key non-governmental partners.

This will be the first NDMC meeting chaired by Governor John Rankin, who leads the NDMC alongside Co-Chair Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie.

Governor Rankin said he has been impressed with the preparedness activities he has seen including on recent site visits to emergency shelters.  He looks forward to the NDMC’s continued success in coordinating disaster risk reduction that is truly comprehensive and based on best practices for reducing risk, including for vulnerable populations.

“The NDMC pulls together experts from the Department of Disaster Management, the security and protection forces, the health sector, utility service providers, and our vital social care agencies and non-governmental partners, all guided by Permanent Secretaries who are responsible for their elements of the Territory’s Disaster Management Plan. The efforts being made through this structure ensure that all corners of the Territory are working hand-in-glove to Be Ready this hurricane season,” Governor Rankin said.

Premier Fahie meanwhile noted that every effort must be made now to ensure that the Virgin Islands does not lose recovery gains made since the impacts of 2017.

 “The people of the Virgin Islands have worked extremely hard to get to where we are now. To continue our success, we must be proactive, which is why we are meeting now and not waiting for a storm to be upon us to identify any gaps that may exist in our overall readiness.  My Government stands ready to do what is needed to ensure that we are able to withstand any major impacts from events that may impact the Territory this year, whether it be flooding, strong winds, landslides or storm surge that comes with the devastating hurricane that have impacted our islands recently,” the Premier said.

The NDMC is responsible for carrying out actions that are in keeping with the Virgin Islands Comprehensive Disaster Management Policy and Strategic Plan. During this meeting, the group will receive reports from the chairpersons of the Council’s various committees, who are the Permanent Secretaries, the Financial Secretary, and the Director of Communications. The NDMC will also consider the outlook for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season; the readiness of the Public Service which will be presented by Deputy Governor, David Archer, Jr.; ongoing risks of COVID-19; and priority steps that may be needed to help the Virgin Islands Be Ready this hurricane season.

Residents can view tools to help them get prepared like hurricane tracking map, an emergency kit checklist, and a family emergency plan template on this website.