CDEMA & WMO hosts a Consultative Workshop on Harmonizing the SOPs for Early-Warning Systems in the Caribbean

May 10th, 2023, Nassau, Bahamas - The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in conjunction with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), just concluded a Consultative training workshop aimed at adapting and implementing harmonized Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for Early-Warning Systems in the region.

Speaking during the three-day event held in The Bahamas, Deputy Executive Director of CDEMA, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, told those in attendance and online, that harmonizing of the SOPs would ensure effective coordination and communication of the operations, during emergencies and disasters in the 19 Participating States.

“Over the period 2021 – 2022 CDEMA and WMO have developed the Early Warning System Standard Operating Procedures to assist National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and National Disaster Offices in taking the most effective and efficient steps prior to and during a hazard impact,” he told participants.
The EWS project which is being funded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as part of the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative (CREWS) will be initially piloted in four CDEMA Participating States, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Captain Stephen Russell, also addressed the workshop and spoke of its’ timeliness, given the impending start of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season.

It is intended to use this workshop to really see how Change Implementation can be brought about, as well as Adaptation of and harmonizing of the various Standard Operation Procedures for EWS for more effective and efficient operational coordination and communication between, local, regional, and international partners.

Also in attendance at the opening ceremony was Director of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology, Mr. Jeffrey Simmons who gave remarks.

Ms. Stephanie Gallasch, Project Officer with WMO in Geneva, said she looked forward to the outcomes of consultation meeting, noting that the feedback would contribute to the strengthening of early warning systems in the Caribbean.

“It will also contribute further to the goals under the “Early Warnings For All” initiative which has been initiated by the United Nations Secretary General in the last year,” she added.
Lt. Col. Craig acknowledged that the Caribbean was one of the most globally vulnerable geographic locations, and said the region needed to continue to work together to reduce its exposure to the complex hazard risk environment.

He thanked the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), The World Bank and the United Nations Department for Risk Reduction (UNDRR), for their continuous support and commitment in strengthening early warning system in the Caribbean.


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