Excerpts from the Premier's Budget speech
The Premier's Budget speech (for the Nevis Island Administration) on the 2013 Nevis Disaster Management Department activities.
Mr. President, it is well established that the Caribbean is one of the most disaster prone regions in the world. Here in Nevis, we have been most
susceptible to hurricanes which over the years have had a negative impact on our economy and have contributed to the high level of indebtedness.
Recognizing this threat, The Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) will continue to develop strategies re-engage with stakeholders and
residents on the island, regarding the critical need for comprehensive Disaster management policies, plans and exercises.
To assist in the implementation of this goal, the Nevis Island Administration with the support and assistance of the United States Southern Military
Command (US South-com) is financing and constructing a separate Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) and offices for the Nevis Disaster
Management Department. The project includes an enlarged Emergency Operating center with space provided for cabinet members to allow the
command and control of Nevis in an Emergency/Disaster situation.
Mr. President, The Department is facilitating an Organisation of American States (OAS) sponsored project, “Building Resilience to Natural Hazards,
one Community at a Time”, which is being implemented by HOPE Nevis Inc, in collaboration with the Department of Physical Planning Natural
Resources & Environment. This project dovetails into the local disaster management framework by targeting leaders to facilitate and provide
instructions in community emergency responses. This initiative will encourage exchanges of experience, ideas and knowledge within the communities
as well as bolstering the self sufficiency in response to emergency situations.
This project which primarily trains and outfits the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), will train some 100 persons in various aspects of
Disaster Management including—
• First Aid and CPR,
• Fire Safety,
• Light Search and Rescue,
• Emergency Shelter Management,
• Vector Control,
• The Dangers of Sand Mining and
• Gender Issues.
The first phase of the project has already been completed with the training of some 26 persons in the St. Thomas’s and St, Paul’s parishes. Training
in the St. John’s parish has commenced to be followed by St. Georges and St. James. The project also includes the retrofitting of three (3) Community
centers and the posting of signs on the beaches, targeting illegal sand mining.
Mr. President training will continue in a number of other areas including Shelter Management. Initial Damage Assessment, Mass Casualty
Management, Incident Command, Logistics Support, Search & Rescue, Emergency Operating Center (EOC) & Warehouse Management.
Other areas of focus for the year 2013 will include:
• Development of a Mass Crowd Policy & management Plan in time for the 2013 Culturama activities.
• Development of an Evacuation policy to be utilized where necessary and in response to hazards such as hurricane/Storm surge, Tsunamis and
• Continuation of Disaster Management Exercises in conjunction with other stakeholders including Fire & Rescue, NASPA, Police Services, Solid
Waste and others.
• Assist in the implementation of the Nevis Arterial Drainage Master Plan Project, which targets primarily the greater Charlestown area.
• Development and implementation of a Disaster Preparedness Week of Activities.
Mr. President, as we begin to put in place policies to minimize the effects of disaster, I urge the people of Nevis to make the necessary preparation to
protect their assets from disaster. This year has been predicted to be an active hurricane season and thus we have to be ready. The government will
continue to improve its disaster management capability but ultimately the bonus is on all of us to take action to preserve life and property through
property insurance and other mitigation activity.