Montserrat to Participate in Annual Disaster Preparedness Conference in Miami Next Week
Tony Bates, UK Policy Adviser to the Governor and Head of the Governor’s office, and Billy Darroux, Director of the Disaster Management Co-ordination Agency, will attend the annual Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda disaster preparedness conference in Miami from 24 – 27 May.
Martin Dawson, Head of DFID Montserrat, will also attend as part of DFID’s regional response capability. The first of these conferences was held in Montserrat in 2008 but the conference has been held in Miami for the last seven years.
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, US Federal Emergency Management Agency and airlines will also attend. The attendance of Directors of Disaster Management is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 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). Regional and mutual assistance arrangements will also feature.
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.”
Following the disaster management meeting there will be a two-day meeting 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.