CDEMA technical teams ready to support Hurricane Irene response

Bridgetown, Barbados, August 25, 2011 (CDEMA) - CDEMA will be leading the CARICOM aerial  reconnaissance team over Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern islands of the Bahamas to get a first hand overview of the damage done by Hurricane Irene. Andria Grosvenor, Technical Manager, Preparedness and Country Support of CDEMA, said “We have maintained contact with the National Disaster Offices of the two States impacted and based on our assessment and initial reports received we are preparing to launch a Level 3 response - the highest level of activation - to the most impacted state.”

This is usually the case when the situation overwhelms the Participating State’s capacity to respond and requests CDEMA’s assistance.  

“We have already deployed to the area a senior officer from the CDEMA Coordinating Unit as a first step in possible onward engagement in the threatened states. He will lead the Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT),” she said.

Arrangements are also in place for the rapid deployment of technical personnel taken from amongst regional partners within the Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) including the 18 CDEMA Participating States, Regional Security System Central Liaison Office (RSS/CLO), University of the West Indies (UWI), Caribbean Electricity Services Corporation (CARILEC). They have placed their teams on standby both for rapid needs assessment and for response/recovery efforts as required. The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit is also on standby.

“We are also working very closely with Jamaica, our North-western Sub-Regional Focal Point, through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) for Jamaica to be used as a staging area as required, for deployment and redeployment of relief supplies and personnel.,” Grosvenor stated.

Jeremy Collymore, CDEMA Executive Director, will be travelling on Friday, August 26, to Jamaica, where he will have high level discussions on the arrangements for facilitating the CARICOM response to the impacted States through the Sub-Regional Focal Point.

CDEMA is also collaborating with international partners who interface with the Regional Response Mechanism such as the Department for International Development (DFID), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the United States Agency for International Development/Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and the Government of Brazil, to complement the efforts of the Caribbean region to support the affected states as necessary.  

Hurricane Irene passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday August 23, 2011 and the southeastern Bahamas on Wednesday August 24, 2011 and is continuing on its path across the Bahamas archipelago.

Reports coming out of Turks and Caicos have indicated that there was flooding and minimal damage to housing stock.

In the south-eastern Bahamas, Acklins Island has reported some 90% of damage to buildings, and there have also been reports of housing damage in Crooked Island and several of the other islands.

Hurricane Irene is forecast to move away from the Bahamas by Friday August 26, 2011.

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is the lead CARICOM Agency for coordinating emergency response to any of its 18 Participating States and has responsibility for triggering the Regional Response Mechanism.   

The Sub-Regional Focal Point (SRFP) is a key element of the CARICOM Regional Response Mechanism (RRM). The SRFP is designed to provide for quick and immediate support actions to CDEMA participating States within the sub-regions. The four SRFPs of the CDEMA system are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The countries comprising the sub-regional groupings are:

1.    Antigua and Barbuda- Anguilla, Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis
2.    Barbados- Dominica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent  and the Grenadines
3.    Jamaica- Bahamas, Belize, Turks & Caicos Islands, Haiti
4.    Trinidad and Tobago- Grenada, Guyana, Suriname    

For information, please contact
Ms Andria Grosvenor
Technical Manager, Preparedness and Country Support
Building #1 Manor Lodge
Lodge Hill, St. Michael
Tel. no. 246-425-0386
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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