BRADES, Montserrat (January 28, 2013) – The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has announced that a national emergency exercise is being planned for the first quarter of this year.
Director Billy Darroux said the Government of Montserrat has initiated the exercise to test the response of all national emergency agencies including the police and fire services, health centres and the MVO; as well as non-governmental agencies, which provide support before and during disasters.
Darroux added that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been asked to develop the exercise scenario which will be conducted over several days to test the island’s readiness. Specific details will remain unknown to the participating agencies until the exercise begins, to ensure the surprise factor that occurs in such real-life scenarios.
“The goal is to test our national response and find any gaps that need to be plugged,” the official said. “Montserrat has continued to strengthen its disaster preparedness with the support of regional agencies and this is another element of that process.”
Montserrat has been in recent years have been afforded a lead role in disaster preparedness planning in the region. According to the planners, officials from overseas agencies, such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), and from the disaster agencies on the Dutch and French Antilles are expected to be on island as observers.
Members of the public will be given roles to play throughout the process to ensure realism and to provide feedback on their interactions with the relevant departments.
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