Exercise Region Rap tests emergency telecommunications systems

Bridgetown, Barbados, May 25, 2012 (CDEMA) – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) conducted its annual Region Rap Exercise today. This is a telecommunications exercise utilising various means including, telephone, electronic mail, facsimile, radio and satellite phones to test communications procedures, plans and networks of National Disaster Organizations across the Region.

This year the exercise focused on a multiple island strike scenario where a hurricane hazard and sea swells impacted several CDEMA Participating States. Participants were required to monitor and share information on the alert, impact and post impact phases of the scenario.

The National Disaster Organizations, the Regional Coordinating Centre at the CDEMA Coordinating Unit (CU) and the Sub-Regional Operational Focal Points were the primary participants in the exercise. Regional response partners helped to add to the degree of realism and the level of coordination required for a successful Region Rap 2012.  At the CDEMA CU, the exercise received the support of Mr. Lionel Ellis, a radio communications expert.

Ms Liz Riley, Deputy Executive Director, said that exercises such as Region Rap 2012, help to enhance the response capability among the Participating States and at the CDEMA CU in areas that are generally of concern during emergencies. She noted that recent experiences have taught us that redundancy in emergency communications continues to be fundamental to national readiness.

Prior to today’s exercise, the CDEMA CU also conducted a Basic Radio Operators Course for staff of the Coordinating Unit to build in-house skills in manning the HF, VHF and UHF radios in times of emergencies. The Coordinating Unit Staff also received demonstrations on the use of the BGAN, an emergency communications system utilising satellite technology and capable of operating in the fields when all other communications systems are down.

Also tested during this year’s exercise was the web based emergency operations system (WebEOC).  The WebEOC is intended to facilitate more effective communication and coordination among the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, affected countries and supporting agencies through real time sharing of critical information.

Region Rap 2012 highlighted not only advancements in some areas but also those that need to be improved in the regional emergency telecommunications arrangements.  CDEMA will be working along with Participating States to strengthen capacity in these areas.


For further information, please contact:
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency
Building No. 1, Manor Lodge Complex, Lodge Hill, St. Michael
Barbados, West Indies
Tel No: (246) 425-0386, Fax No: (246) 425-8854
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.cdema.org

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