Local Disaster Management Officials to Attend OTs Miami Conference

Tony Bates, UK Policy Adviser and Head of the Montserrat Governor's Office.
Tony Bates, UK Policy Adviser and Head of the Montserrat Governor’s Office.

BRADES – Tony Bates, UK Policy Adviser to the Governor and Head of the Governor’s office, and Kelvin White, Operations Manager at the Disaster Management Co-ordination Agency, will attend the 8th annual Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda disaster preparedness conference in Miami on 5 and 6 May.

According to a release from the Governor’s Office, the first of these conferences was held in Montserrat in 2008 but the conference has been held in Miami for the last six years.
While the main focus of the meeting is to understand and agree preparedness and response mechanisms for the hurricane season, participants will also discuss other hazards facing the Overseas Territories, such as mass casualty events (maritime and aviation incidents) and oil spills.  Regional and mutual assistance arrangements will also feature and there will be a table top exercise to test some of these aspects.
In advance of the meeting, Tony Bates said: “This meeting is a vital part of Montserrat’s and the other Territories’ annual preparedness work.  It’s an opportunity to co-ordinate with the UK Government and the Royal Navy on states of preparedness.  It also allows us to hear about the regional and international response mechanisms, should Montserrat need any assistance post-disaster.”
The meeting brings together representatives of all the disaster management agencies and Governors’ offices from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands.  Representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy, regional response agencies (eg. CDEMA, PAHO), US Coast Guard, British Red Cross and cruise lines will also attend.  The attendance of Overseas Territory Directors of Disaster Management is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Following the disaster management meeting Tony will chair a two-day meeting on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 May of Heads of Governors’ offices, whose agenda will cover UK Government and Governors’ offices’ regional resilience and crisis management plans, capacity and capability building projects in good governance and safety and security, office management issues and public diplomacy work.