June 28, 20231058Views

Virgin Islands residents and visitors can get real-time mobile alerts about storms, earthquakes and other hazards from the Department of Disaster Management’s new emergency alerting app.

The app was developed with the support of the Government of the United Kingdom. His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin CMG said he was pleased that his Government was able to contribute two thirds of the development costs of this app, which can play a vital role in disaster preparedness and response.

“I would encourage all those who can to download the app as part of the further building of the BVI Government’s resilience in response to changing weather patterns,” the Governor stated.

Director of Disaster Management Mr. Jasen Penn said that the app reflects the DDM’s commitment to enhance early warning capabilities in the Territory.

“We strive to make early warning messages available to all persons in the Territory. This new mobile alerting app helps to ensure that lifesaving hazard alert messages can reach anyone who chooses to download the app,” Mr. Penn said, adding that it’s a good practice to have more than one means of receiving emergency alerts.

The BVI DDM Emergency app is primarily developed as an alerting tool but also has preparedness resources such as safety tips and emergency shelter lists. The app also facilitates individual post-disaster needs such as sharing damage reports, and requesting location-based assistance. The app’s social media integration enables users to share “I’m safe” messages on their social profiles.

The BVI DDM Emergency app is available now in the App Store and on Google Play and replaces the previous DDM Alert app. It is available free of charge on a variety of mobile devices including most smartphones. Technical development costs for the new app were shared by the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office.