February 15, 20111104Views

Tuesday, February 15 The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), in partnership with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), held a two-day workshop to develop Warning Protocols for Tsunamis and other Coastal Hazards.

The workshop, which was held from February 10 – 11 at DDM, provided participants with an opportunity to expand the current Tsunami Protocol established with the Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre and the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN). This revised protocol allows for the expansion of the current procedures to document the local actions that will be taken by DDM in the event that a tsunami watch or warning is issued for the Territory.

In addition, participants also examined the coastal hazards information dissemination protocol developed by CDEMA and adapted the model to reflect the procedures used by DDM to warn residents of hazards such as storm surge. The protocols were tested by a table top exercise designed to address various impact scenarios and to determine their effectiveness.

Disaster Management Consultant Mr. Arturo Lopez Portillo y Contreras, contracted by CDEMA, facilitated the workshop. Mr. Lopez presented the Model Public Awareness & Education Policy and Strategy. DDM contributed to the model by outlining its Public Information and Awareness Strategy for the 2011 Earthquake & Tsunami Awareness Campaign.

According to Information and Education Manager, Mr. Linton Leonard, participants, who were key stakeholders within government, provided recommendations on effective  methods for disseminating information to various target audiences.

“Some of the products developed by the participants were extremely creative, and the DDM has agreed to fully develop them for use in the 2011 campaign.”, he said. 

The workshop also outlined the role of the media in the dissemination of hazard warning information.

  The workshop was funded by the Australian Government (AusAID) and co-hosted by CDEMA and the DDM.