DMCA Director announces efforts to improve island’s emergency communication readiness

BRADES, Montserrat – Director of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) Billy Darroux says he is pleased with efforts of some agencies to improve the island’s emergency communication readiness ahead of another hurricane season.
Speaking after the annual Hurricane Preparedness Conference held on May 3, 2012 with representatives from all government departments and agencies, Darroux said the announcement from Mark Turner, Head of the Governor’s Office that EC$ 3million has been allocated by the Department for International Development (DFID) to fund several issues related to disaster preparedness was good news.
Turner told department heads the funds have been allocated for improving the siren system, repairing the road to Silver Hills, repeaters and repairing five of the island’s designated shelters. The improvements to the Silver Hills road will reduce vulnerability to the island’s main emergency and broadcast transmission facility.
Kelvin White, Programme Officer for Logistics and Operations also highlighted areas that the DMCA were working on to improve readiness. These include EOC transition, communication checks, departmental plan reviews and updates.
The media centre was also tested on Thursday by staff at ZJB Radio Montserrat, which will enable transmission of broadcasts from the EOC through the Radio Montserrat frequencies in case of emergency.
The DMCA director says there is still a need for improvement in agencies communications structure, and asked agencies with equipment to look at ways to make better use of the equipment they manage as a national priority.
Turner and Darroux are schedule to represent Montserrat at the annual Foreign & Commonwealth Office Disaster Management Conference at the end of May in Miami, Florida.