Elysa Jones, the consultant attached to the project, is presently on island looking at Montserrat’s capacity and what areas need to be improved to enable it to execute the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which is the international standard for alerting systems.
“The goal is to enable the DMCA to get the word out internally and to the public through a standard protocol. This CAP will be able to be used with various systems regardless of the brand or vendor,” explained Jones.
Under this programme the island’s sirens will be upgraded from eight to ten, all of the electronics of the present sirens will be upgraded and will make them more resilient to the environmental conditions.
Director of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) Billy Darroux said the upgrade will allow the sirens to no longer be restricted to volcanic emergencies but they will be able to have audio messages dependent on the issue at hand.
Darroux said the project “supports the dissemination of information for all hazards and sectors. It will allow us to target communities and specific risks to a given or identified hazard. It will greatly assist us in regional coordination efforts for disaster management.”
Jones also added that a CAP server will be installed by December, which will allow for email messaging, Blackberry notifications, radio and television interrupts and interfaces with the siren system. A public information campaign will also be introduced in a later phase of the project.
Montserrat is one of four islands taking part in the pilot phase of the CAP project. The other territories are Anguilla, St Maarten and Aruba.