Does the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA) as the executive body to manage disasters in the region, have any protocols that come into effect before a hurricane?
For example, does CEDEMA have a central command that issues information in a systematic way throughout the territory?
As I see it, with so many individual Caribbean islands issuing updates as a situation develops, a digital command center would help In keeping track of data generated by disaster management organisations of the individual islands.
At a time like now, a 24-hour live feed with inputs from ‘reporters’ around the region would simplify the process of keeping track of developments before and after a storm.
With very few having islands running state-of-the art weather forecasting studios, one has to turn to international media for graphics, analysis and in -depth trajectories of current storms.
A rotating panel of ‘experts’ could offer perspectives on past storms, answer questions from viewers and feature periodically, official government notices in it real-time.
Such a set -up needn’t be ultra-expensive. We in the Caribbean are known for our improvisation and adaptability, let us therefore extend what is culturally possible into the digital space.
You may have noticed how our international friends utilized Facebook Live as a source of engaging with their audiences. This makes for easy integration of radio and television thereby keeping persons who have a stake in what happens in the Caribbean informed.
In our quest to build – back – better, we should not fall in to the trap of mediocrity and rest on our laurels. Yes the Caribbean may have come into its own since last year’s catastrophic events, but there is always room for improvement.
I hope that perhaps this post will not go unnoticed or ignored, and that a dialogue can be started to start to address this need to strengthen our competencies in this sector.
In closing, my wife, Tempie Williams and I pray that all residents of the region remain safe during the passage of Isaac, and that loss of life and damage to our islands is minimal.
Even as many islands are still recovering from last year’s record-breaking unprecedented, widespread devastation of so many Caribbean jurisdictions.
May God be with us.