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The Territory’s National Disaster Management Plan is being reviewed in light of the impacts caused by the 2017 unprecedented trio – August floods, Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
In support of this plan enhancement process, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provided a team from the United States based Emergency Management Accreditation Programme (EMAP) to meet with a number of local stakeholders. The aim is to document the Territory’s response efforts to the 2017 events in order to identify best practices and areas that will require improvements.
The five-member team, supported by the FCO Disaster Advisor Jon Snell, spent the week of March 12 meeting with some 20 agencies to review their involvement in the 2017 disaster response operations.
Mr. Snell said the process is being carried out in other Overseas Territories (OTs) impacted by last year’s hurricanes. He added that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is supportive of the continued strengthening of the disaster management programmes in the British Virgin Islands and the other OTs and is providing the opportunity to increase their response capabilities.
He said, “FCO is supportive of the Territory’s continued efforts to maintain and enhance the international standards already attained by the British Virgin Islands”.
The BVI National Disaster Management Programme received accreditation in April 2015 which is valid until 2020. The review now in progress is part of the after action review process being implemented by the Department of Disaster Management.
A review of the 2017 Disaster Management Bill is complete and recommendations are now with the Deputy Governor’s Office for onward submission to Cabinet. A full After Action Report is expected to be compiled following the completion of a series of stakeholder consultations.
The EMAP Team is comprised of Executive Director, Mrs. Nicole Ishmael; Team Leader, Mr. Todd Livingston who is also with the St. Petersburg Fire Search and Rescue; Mr. Jerome Hatfield, Consultant in Consequence and Crisis Management; Mr. Brandan McCluskey, Director for the Office of Emergency Management in New Jersey; and Mr. Carlos Garcia, Director at the Indiana University Emergency Management and Continuity programme.
The National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) is a framework that promotes centralised coordination, control and effective collaboration in preparing for and providing immediate responses to the impact of various hazards. The NDMP addresses the short and long term objectives of the National Emergency Organisation (NEOC). The NDMP consists of six main parts namely the Base Plan, Response Function Annexes, Support Function Annexes, Hazard Incident Annexes, Specific Plans Annexes, and Mutual Aid Agreements Annexes. The Plan was last updated by the Department of Disaster Management and approved by Cabinet in 2016.