A wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors are expected to participate in the upcoming audit of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD), which is slated to commence in St. Kitts and Nevis on March 03 and 04 respectively.
“Disaster Management is not the persons at the office or it is not a building, it is an all-of- [society] approach so we have to interact with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the faith-based organizations, the government agencies… and we also have volunteers – a critical part of the disaster management response,” said Brian Dyer, Director of NDMD, on the Wednesday (March 02) edition of Working for You. “We also have the sub-committees that comprise other agencies and organizations. So we want to bring all these persons together and have them go through the questionnaire and break it down sector by sector.”
Mr. Dyer briefly explained the Disaster Management Framework, which encompasses the disaster management cycle which comprises four broad areas. These include mitigation where the agencies try to minimize the impact and identify hazards; the preparedness phase where maps are developed and public education awareness is enhanced, and the response phase – about two weeks after any impact – where the relevant agencies “try to stop the bleeding” or try to minimize the damage that has already occurred. Finally, at the end of the two weeks, an attempt is made to jumpstart the recovery process or the economy so people can “feel a sense of normalcy as soon as practical after the impact.”
“So we want to take our stakeholders through that chain or circle and ensure that they can answer some of the questions and identify where we need assistance and where we need to enhance or maybe we need to change one or two things to ensure that we come up with the best scenario for St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Director Dyer.
Claricia Langley-Stevens, Deputy National Disaster Coordinator said that it is important to note that stakeholders are engaged all year round.
“Our disaster management stakeholders are not just brought in just now because we are conducting an audit. Our stakeholders are constantly being engaged by NEMA. For example, when you look at the National Mitigation Council, it is made up of decision-makers from across government and the private sector,” she said. “But in addition to that, one of the things that we pride ourselves on in this particular exercise to maximize the benefits of it is to include decision-makers, as well as the first responders at the community level.”
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Consultant who will lead the Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Audit, Denise Murray, expressed pleasure with the disaster management organizations for ensuring that the stakeholders represent a wide cross-section of society