ODPM to conduct simulation exercise, Exercise Dark Wave, alongside key agencies

Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago, March 24th, 2015 (ODPM) - The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) in collaboration with local/regional and international response agencies will conduct its annual national exercise “Exercise Dark Storm 2015”, from March 24th – 26th, 2015. The aim of Exercise Dark Storm 2015 is to test the preparedness of the country’s National Response Framework when impacted by the natural hazards to which the nation is highly susceptible.

The ODPM has streamlined its strategies with the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA). According to Priority Action #5 of the HFA, which aims to strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels. The ODPM must be prepared at all times for a knowledge-based execution of its mandate to ensure the effective and efficient response to catastrophic incidents. It is equally important that all stakeholders are prepared and ready in their respective domains to ensure a holistic approach in their response to emergencies and disasters.

These types of exercises are opportunities to practice, assess and improve emergency response times and on-the-ground operations while engaging stakeholders and refreshing the concepts and skills learned in training.

The main objectives for this exercise are:

  1. Testing the tsunami preparedness of vulnerable schools within two (2) miles from the Trinidad and Tobago coastline. This test is aimed at the primary and secondary school students and will examine the evacuation management and early warning systems in response to an impending tsunami.
  2. Testing the resiliency of national communication mechanisms which involve emergency telecommunication and crisis communication systems before, during and after a national disaster.
  3. Examining the implementation of a humanitarian operations coordination mechanism by efficiently directing resources through the appropriate national agencies.
  4. Executing efficient command, control and coordination of first responders to the consequences resulting from various hazards throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

The ODPM will be conducting a tsunami drill with schools located on the coastline on March 25, 2015 and would again like to emphasize that the general public will not be involved in this exercise and therefore are asked to calm any concerns regarding impact on transportation or communication lines. In essence, Exercise Dark Storm 2015 intends to build resilience by enhancing the disaster management capabilities of first responders and civil society to ensure that the nation is prepared for a disaster.

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