Media Practitioners and Disaster Managers meet to map out communications strategies for hazard sensitization

Director of NEMA, Carl Herbert told participants that the coming together was in keeping with his office’s involvement in comprehensive disaster management, which seeks to undertake the management of disasters across all sectors, before, during and after hazard impacts.

Herbert indicated that today’s session is yet another reminder that NEMA does not possess all the resources and or expertise necessary to address risks, vulnerabilities, threats or hazard impacts; but that like a band of musicians, all stakeholders have different but specific inputs to make.

Representatives were drawn from local media organizations and other agencies like ZIZ, MiyVue.com, Labour Spokesman, Dominion Radio, Meteorological services (Nevis and St. Kitts), police, NEMA, Government Information Service, and USAID/OFDA.

Unfortunately, despite the serious nature and value of the workshop, too many of the media stakeholders did not bother to send representatives.

The NEMA Director said Wednesday’s dialogue was also an ideal opportunity to learn, network, share information, seek clarification and better understand the roles and responsibilities before during and after disaster strikes.

media-nema2He said he recognized the glaring responsibility of the media and disaster management agencies, to disseminate information that is accurate, timely, and easy to understand by residents, in order to influence appropriate responses that can help to move residents from danger to safety, recognizing that disasters do not discriminate.

The meeting came as a result of collaboration between the Ministry of Homeland Security, NEMA, USAID and OFDA.

Other presentations were made by NEMA’s Public Relations Officer, Vesta Southwell, Mr. John Kimbrough, Regional Advisor, in the Office of the US Foreign Affairs Disaster Assistance, USAID/OFDA Consultant Audrey Mullins from the USAID Latin America and the Caribbean Office, Representative from the Met Offices, and Val Henry, representing the local media.


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