Nevis Island’s Disaster Management Unit
November 11, 2008
The Premier of Nevis, Hon. Joseph Parry in collaboration with the regional United States Embassy, will officially open the Nevis Disaster Management Facility at Long Point at 2:00 pm on Thursday, 13th November.
The United States Ambassador to the region, Her Excellency, Mary Ourisman will be attending the ceremony along with Federal Representatives, Nevis Island Administration officials and invited guests. The program will include brief remarks by the U.S. Ambassador; the Hon Joseph Parry, who is also the Minister responsible for Disaster Management and Mr. Lester Blackett, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department.
The 110′ x 44′ building is a hurricane resistant, steel framed building that will house the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) staff, Emergency Operating center and Warehouse. There are air conditioned offices, a general office, a combined and interchangeable training/conference/EOC agency room, a warehouse outfitted with racks and 2 rollup doors to provide access for containerized or unconsolidated goods. Also included are 4 bathrooms, 2 showers, a kitchenette, communications room, library and data storage room.
The project is estimated to cost in excess of EC$1.5 million, provided by the US Government, while the Nevis Island Administration will provide an additional estimated total of EC $1million to cover mainly external works which include drainage, a parking lot, access roads, fencing, security and emergency systems, landscaping and more.
The Project provides a dedicated and designed Disaster Management Office and a sound and fully functional warehouse, as well as an Emergency Operating Centre with the required space.
External features of the site to be completed will include a communications tower, A separate EOC which will be envisioned in the future and an electrical system comprising mainly 110V with specific 220V outlets using a three phase supply.
Subsequent projects will outfit the warehouse with racks for storage of supplies, stores and equipment for use in Disaster Management.
Meanwhile, the Department whose motto is “Plan Now! Don’t Wait! Disasters Don’t Discriminate” has been proactive in the Disaster Management area conducting a variety of workshops, open house forums, meetings and other activities to promote the message of prevention and response to disasters and emergencies and have collaborated and coordinated with a wide cross section of stakeholders in Government, the Private and other Public sector organizations.
Recently, the Disaster Preparedness office coordinated the response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Omar and calmed the populace following the recent sequence of earthquakes experienced in Nevis. They also assisted with the housing of the “refugees” from Haiti and other Caribbean islands.
Their mission statement states that “The Nevis Disaster Management Department will develop and implement a Comprehensive Disaster Management Plan for the present and future, and shall develop its resources along with the public and private sector, to maximize efforts to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, recover and restore from, the effects of disasters.