October 22, 20152203Views
Tropical Shipping has once again partnered with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to offer a practical workshop on recovery planning for the private sector.

On Friday 16th October over 40 persons from trust and legal companies, insurance agencies, statutory organisations as well as small businesses met to examine their business continuity plans in light of the vulnerable environment in which they operate. The attendees were exposed to tools that would help them develop or enhance their plans taking into consideration the various threats related to workplace operations, natural and man-made hazards. Emphasis was placed on cyber security and the importance of using appropriate risk management techniques to identify organizational vulnerabilities.
Island Manager, Tropical Shipping Mr. Leroy Moses said, “The Disaster Management Workshop Series was very timely in light of the recent impact seen from Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Joaquin. Of paramount importance is the need for us to always be prepared for the unthinkable. Our families and employees should be taken care of first.”
Director of Governmental & Community Affairs at Tropical Shipping Mrs. Jennifer Nugent-Hill, stated that Tropical Shipping places a priority on business recovery throughout Caribbean as part of their community relations programme. She explained that these workshops were designed to bring together the public and private sectors to coordinate their recovery planning and ensure that businesses incorporate disaster planning into their daily operations.
Mrs. Nugent-Hill stressed the importance of continuity planning and the need to have plans in place to keep companies up and running through various types of interruptions. 
She said, “We were so honoured to partner with the DDM and all of our collaborating partners for the 2015 BVI DDM Recovery Planning Workshop. We believe of utmost importance is a commitment by public policy makers and the private sector to engage early in the process of disaster management.
Mrs Nugget-Hill further highlighted the need for greater focus on resiliency, stating that it takes committed leadership in organisations to ensure resilient businesses. She commended the BVI DDM and its team of professionals who are driving this approach in the BVI.

Newly appointed Director of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), Mona Barnes also shared her own experiences with the participants and highlighted the need for employees to have concise instructions on how they should respond to the various hazards that can affect business operations.
Director of the DDM Ms. Sharleen DaBreo while explaining the DDM’s commitment to increasing private sector preparedness levels, said that during the development of the Virgin Islands 2014 to 2018 Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy, emphasis was placed on ensuring that activities were included that focused on helping organisations prepare for the impact of hazards and other disruptive events. 
Ms DaBreo said, “We have developed a specific programme that supports business continuity which is led by certified business continuity managers who can work with businesses to keep their operations going not only after a major impact but also in the event of smaller disruptions that businesses periodically face. This is an area that calls for strong partnerships and therefore we reached out to Tropical Shipping for assistance as they have contributed to building business resiliency in the region for many years.”
Business continuity and disaster recovery are closely related practices that describe an organisation’s preparation for dealing with risks that can impact business operations. DDM provides technical guidance to local businesses desirous of developing, reviewing and testing their contingency plans. DDM also offers Business Emergency Response Training which is essential in building organisational capacity to respond to the impact of various hazards that can affect business operations. Organisations wishing to receive this type of support can contact the department at 284 468 4200 or email [email protected].