CDEMA remembers November 2007 Caribbean Sea Earthquake

CDEMA Staff evacuates building during Exercise Shake-UpBridgetown, Barbados, November 27, 2009 (CDEMA) - Staff at the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (formerly CDERA) could be seen taking cover under desks and holding on during an earthquake exercise conducted today (November 27) at the Coordinating Unit in Barbados.

Andria Grosvenor, CDEMA, Programme Manager (Ag.) said, “ Exercise Shake-up” had a twofold purpose, to commemorate the November 2007 Caribbean Earthquake which was a strong reminder of the region’s exposure to the threat of earthquakes and for the Staff of CDEMA to practise safety actions and procedures during an earthquake event.”

“The earthquake of November 29, 2007 was experienced by thousands in twelve of the CDEMA Participating States and has increased the awareness of the hazard in States where many people believed that they were safe from earthquakes. We hope that countries across the region will observe this event annually on the last Friday of November to promote earthquake awareness and safety,” she added

Roxanne Boyce does the Roll Call to ensure that staff CDEMA staff practiced the “Drop, Cover and Hold-on” drill as recommended by regional seismic experts and the safe evacuation of the two CDEMA buildings. At the assembly point in the Manor Lodge Car Park, a roll call was done and “injuries” assessed. This was followed by an evaluation of the exercise, which allowed staff and observers to express their views on the conduct of the exercise and offer suggestion for improving the drill.

Grosvenor reminded staff that “earthquakes can happen at any time and without warning. We may be at home, at work, shopping, driving, out in the open. There is no "earthquake season" so we all need to be aware of the risk and be prepared”

The observance of the event by CDEMA this year also supported the Earthquake Public Education and Awareness Campaign that was launched recently in several Participating States. A suite of multimedia products has been developed through the Earthquake Readiness Capacity Building Project with funding from the Government of Austria. These products are available for downloading and reproduction at the CDEMA site and include a ‘Drop, Cover & Hold On’ Jingle, an earthquake documentary, an interactive Toolkit for primary
CDEMA Staff listens to comments during the Evaluation Phase of Exercise Shake-upCDEMA Staff listens to comments during the Evaluation Phase of Exercise Shake-up school children that includes a music video by the artiste Choc’late.

Staff training and simulation exercises are usually conducted by the CDEMA Coordinating Unit as part of the Agency’s operational readiness activities.