The Valley, Anguilla, October 8, 2008 (DDM) - Comprehensive Disaster Management and Risk Reduction are key phrases you may be becoming more familiar with. This is due to a growing understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Disaster Management, National Disaster Management Committee and our relationship to the greater Caribbean region. Public outreach and education is a critical role of the risk reduction programme and as such, people, organisations, agencies and governments throughout the world take time today to recognise the threats we face and the mechanisms to help reduce our risk from them.
The month of September was significant in this light due to the Tornado event at Rendezvous and Blowing Point and the gasoline and diesel spills at Corito. Neither event are common to affect Anguilla yet they both posed a threat to the environment, infrastructure, visitors and residents. You may also be reminded of the 7.4 earthquake felt across the Caribbean last November 30th, last day of hurricane season. "Bottom line, we must always be prepared for the unexpected" stated Director of Disaster Management, Elizabeth Klute.
The Department of Disaster Management is working diligently with other government agencies to develop a programme of safety and security to help assure you, the public, know what to do (and what not to do) in the event of any disaster emergency event.
You may have noticed the Family Preparedness Basket and displays at several local supermarkets. This is the beginning of an extensive outreach and education programme you will be seeing over time.
In closing and regarding the recent events, it is important to remember your first contact in any emergency is to CALL 911 and your first action should be to go inside or stay sheltered and listen to the local news.
Please feel free to contact the Department of Disaster Management if you have questions on any hazard that may affect Anguilla and have a safe Disaster Risk Reduction Day!
Susan V Hodge
Department of Disaster Management
James Ronald Webster Building, P.O. Box 60, The Valley, AI-2640, Anguilla
Telephone No: (264) 497-2926 or 497-2451 Ext 2425