May 6, 20051477Views

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is
partnering with the Financial Services Commission’s (FSC) Financial Literacy
Programme, which is branded as Money Matters BVI, to launch an awareness
campaign ahead of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

The Rainy Day campaign which has as its theme, Be Ready, Start Early, Start Now, seeks
to promote hazard awareness and knowledge, particularly related to responsible financial
management practices to help minimise the impact of disasters.  

Information and Education
Manager at the Department of Disaster Management, Ms. Philomena Robertson said preparedness
is one of the cornerstones of effective comprehensive disaster management and
it is important that every sector in the BVI is aware of the specific steps
needed to get ready. She noted that over the years significant attention was
paid to preparedness in other sectors but based on the financial climate in
which we now operate it is important that we pay close attention to the
linkages between disaster preparedness and fiscal responsibility.

“We tend to focus a lot on ensuring
that we make preparations for the structural changes to our homes and
surroundings with the
installation of
hurricane shutters, by trimming trees and clearing debris from drains as well
as making sure that we have a disaster kit with supplies to ensure survival. While
all those things are very  important, we are
now living in a challenging financial period and we need people to seriously
consider the most effective ways to secure their investments and to become more
fiscally responsible in their preparedness efforts,” Ms. Robertson said.

“By collaborating with Money Matters BVI, we intend to
underscore the importance of financial preparations by establishing a personal
emergency fund, applying cost saving options in your preparations, focusing
more attention on maintenance activities and ensuring adequate insurance
coverage,” the DDM Information and Education Manager stated.

She added, “There is no room for complacency in disaster
preparedness; we have been very fortunate in the BVI but we have to consider the
emerging hazards that are affecting our communities and the worst case
scenarios that can occur and try to determine how we can best recover quickly.”

Khiayah Doward of Money
Matters BVI said “the intention of the Rainy Day campaign is to encourage
persons to assess their current situations and take proactive steps to
adequately prepare, not only for the hurricane season but for hazards in
general. The reality is that disasters can strike at any time and persons
should be prepared, financially and otherwise.”

As part of the campaign,
the DDM and Money Matters BVI will share information throughout the month via
their respective websites and Facebook pages, radio, television and online. The partnership has also been extended to the Public Information & Education sub-committee of the National Disaster Management Council and the Department of Information and Public Relations which has been instrumental in the production of public service announcements which will be aired throughout the month.

Through the increased awareness generated by the month-long campaign, it is envisaged
that the BVI population will recognise the advantage of being prepared and
proactively move towards a state of readiness using financially prudent approaches.

The Department of Disaster Management’s mission is to
protect lives and maintain a resilient, sustainable economy and society by
fostering comprehensive disaster management and climate change adaptation as a
way of life.