Press Release

Department of Disaster Management
Release Date:
Friday, 25 May 2018 - 4:47pm

Communications equipment was donated to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) to help strengthen the emergency telecommunications system in the Territory.

The donation consisted of an extreme satellite phone, a satellite internet terminal and two solar panels.

The equipment was provided by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, (CDEMA) and handed over by their representative Ms. Andrea Grosvernor. Planning and Preparedness Manager, Ms. Sheniah Armstrong accepted the donation on behalf of the DDM

The presentation was made at the Business Continuity and Disaster Symposium held in the Territory on May 15 at the Moorings Mariner Inn.  It was organized jointly by DDM in collaboration with BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and CDEMA.

A main feature of the symposium was the launch of the local ARISE Chapter which seeks to raise awareness and increase understanding on collaborative opportunities for the public and private sector.  It focuses on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and how businesses can become more resilient by incorporating DRR practices.

Ms. Armstrong hoped that participants left the workshop with a better awareness and understanding of disaster risk reduction and why it is important for them to have a business continuity and recovery plan. 

The workshop addressed public-private partnership initiatives at global, regional and national levels and how the private sector can partner with government to develop, test and execute community initiatives to build resiliency.

In attendance were representatives from Maria’s by the Sea, K-Mark’s Foods, Tortola Concrete Ltd, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, S & D Security Systems and the Caribbean Broadcasting Network.

Armstrong said she was excited about the programme being rolled out in the BVI because it gives the private sector the opportunity to sit and develop their own ideas and how they can assist communities and themselves in building disaster risk reduction activities and implementing them. 

The critical components of a comprehensive disaster continuity plan include the introduction, outlining the scope, purpose and objectives, critical assumptions, administrative policies, and documenting actions to be taken in the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery phases of a disaster.

Speakers at the symposium included Mr. Louis Potter, former Chief Planner and Chairman of the BVICCHA, who outlined the history of hazard impacts in the BVI and Ms. Marianela Guzman of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) who shared that participants can become a beacon to create alliances in the Caribbean region. She encouraged participants to be prepared to manage risk from natural hazards.

The vision of the Department of Disaster Management is to create a SMART footprint that works towards resilience and safeguarding life, livelihoods and the sustainable development of the Virgin Islands.


Photographs Attached - (Photo Credit: GIS/Ronnielle Frazer)                               

Photograph 1: A group photograph of participants at the Business Continuity and Disaster Symposium on May 15, 2018.

Photograph 2:  Ms. Sheniah Armstrong accepts a donation of emergency communications equipment from Ms. Andrea Grosvernor of CDEMA.


Colene A. Penn

Head of Communications
Recovery and Development Agency
Tel: +1 (284) 345-2776 | Mobile: +1 (284) 345-3387