Tsunami-ready

Protocol on handling disaster approved

The head of a national emergency organization has thrown out a challenge for the reintroduction of a national swimming programme to help Barbadians prepare themselves for a tsunami, as she announced that a protocol outlining the standard operating procedures outlining how to handle an earthquake or tsunami affecting Barbados has been approved by the Emergency Management Advisory Council.

Director of the Department of Emergency Management Judy Thomas made the call and disclosure today as the association officially launched its 2015 tsunami and earthquake smart month of activities at the DEM’s office.

Director of the CZMU Dr Lorna Inniss (left) and Director of the Department of Emergency Management      Judy Thomas.
Director of the CZMU Dr Lorna Inniss (left) and Director of the Department of Emergency Management Judy Thomas.

Thomas proposed that the swimming programme be implemented in schools as one method of helping children be prepared for a tsunami.

Director of the Department of Emergency Management Judy Thomas
Director of the Department of Emergency Management Judy Thomas

“We would want to see a national swimming programme in this country. I know there was a swimming programme many years ago, but we need to make sure that somebody takes up the mantle of ensuring that there are swimming classes in all of our primary schools to begin with,” she said.

“I think that the Cubans, they have a national programme and we can easily talk to the Cubans in terms of how they initiated their own and go from there. There may be other people that are doing marine things in the environment that could take up the challenge . . . A lot of adults are not comfortable with the sea and certainly once there is fear about the sea they instill this fear in their own children, and I think that I want to challenge my department to run with it as well as to provide some leadership to it, but also the Ministry of Education and the volunteers in our community to take it up.”

On the protocol, Thomas said it had been sent on to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval, after which the Attorney General would decide if additional legislation under the Emergency Management Act was needed to promote the goals and objectives of the island’s earthquake and tsunami programme.

The theme of this month’s activities is Come on Barbados: Let’s Team up and Combat the Impact of Coastal Hazards.

And with a focus on the tourism sector and primary and secondary schools, the DEM has joined forces with a number of organizations, including the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) and the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC), as they embark on a number of initiatives to help the island become better prepared for Tsunami and earthquake.

This year, the organizations will be working with nine primary and secondary schools across the island in order to get the message out. One simulation exercise will be carried out at the Alleyne School.

Also on the calendar of events for this month will be three movie nights, one of which is to be held on the Dover playing field in Christ Church, displays at three of the island’s libraries, a community focus exercise for volunteers and sensitization workshops with a visiting delegation from the seismic research centre out of Trinidad.

Interim director of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre (CTIC) Alison Brome said they were in the process of embarking on a Tsunami recognition programme in which they would identify a number of parameters across the island in which to erect signage.

She said they were also hoping to embark on setting up an emergency managers information network, which would allow the meteorological service to receive information in “a quick time” and transfer that information to the national players.

“In addition, we are embarking on proposals to actually enhance public awareness and education materials primarily for secondary and primary schools,” added Brome.

“We spoke a bit about the education sector and the business sector, but one area we want to focus on is tourism, primarily because of the coastal nature of the tsunami hazard and within the Caribbean many of our countries have a very densely populated coastline and tourism is the bread and butter of many of our economies. Therefore it is not only to have our systems available but also to have the tourists knowledgeable,” said Brome.

She said that there programmes to help hotels become more certified and regularized in relation to their level of hazard preparedness.

Meanwhile, director of the CZMU Dr Lorna Inniss said that organization was working with the UN to develop a programme to begin the establishment of a Common Alerting Protocol network (CAP).

She explained that that platform would allow for Barbadians to receive a message when an earthquake or tsunami was eminent. A pilot of the project is being carried out in Holetown.

“We expect that over the next few years as we come to the month of March there would have been significant progress in the establishment of this national dissemination programme so that more Barbadians can receive the message in real time,” said Inniss.

32 Responses to Tsunami-ready

  1. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock March 3, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Ready for what! no country has never been ready for these situations.

    Reply
  2. Emma St.John
    Emma St.John March 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Yes… a swimming program will help in the case of a tsunami #musthavebeenmisquoted

    Reply
  3. Danielle Reid-Melillo
    Danielle Reid-Melillo March 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Lolol this country is a JOKE!

    Reply
    • Adrian M Chase
      Adrian M Chase March 3, 2015 at 9:58 am

      This country is beautiful! …it’s some of the people who are jokers.

      Reply
  4. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte March 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

    They may be ready but what programs have been put in place to ensure citizens are ready?
    If any event one place that would become an immediate burial ground will be Bridgetown… the ONE DOOR buildings (not being addressed), the vendors blocking the alleys, the bad parking, the poor road networks in and out of town, no regular simulations, no emergency mapping, ETC

    Reply
    • Sterlin Blackman
      Sterlin Blackman March 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Wayne you should know better, they are READY to clean up after . that is the mop-up crew…lol

      Reply
    • Wayne P Hoyte
      Wayne P Hoyte March 3, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      lol indeed

      Reply
  5. Sue Ward
    Sue Ward March 3, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Of course Emma St.John, if we teach the kids and adults to swim SO well they can outswim a tsunami, imagine all the gold swimming medals Barbados would win…

    #youcouldntmakethisstuffup

    Reply
  6. Emma St.John
    Emma St.John March 3, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Sue, we need to make sure we enter the kids in the olympics soon! seeing all the tsunami swimming preparedness they shall soon be getting – they should soon have more medals than Phelps!

    Reply
    • Sue Ward
      Sue Ward March 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

      I am all for a national swimming programme but to say it is to help prepare for a tsunami is just outstanding. Never cease to be amazed really…

      Reply
    • Martine Boyer
      Martine Boyer March 3, 2015 at 8:53 am

      It would help save lives (drowning), but a tsunami?

      Reply
  7. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love March 3, 2015 at 8:48 am

    These are the people that are running this country. Its a muppet show.

    Reply
  8. Lisa St John
    Lisa St John March 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

    ……Bajans should be trained in running hard instead

    Reply
    • Buddy Love
      Buddy Love March 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Yea from these idiots. Its time the business community in Barbados get up and run that country. These idiots do not have a clue.

      Reply
  9. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis March 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I havent seen one Tsunami evacuation route sign posted anywhere

    Reply
  10. Louise King
    Louise King March 3, 2015 at 8:58 am

    doing nothing but driving in fear in to de mind of barbadians-

    Reply
  11. Martin McCormick
    Martin McCormick March 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    What’s next, crouching lessons in case of a hurricane ?

    Reply
  12. Martin McCormick
    Martin McCormick March 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    What’s next, crouching lessons in case of a hurricane ?

    Reply
  13. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua March 3, 2015 at 10:51 am

    WHAT!!…..ready for a tsunami…..where is the mountain in the middle of the island that we will run up on….if a 50ft wave break here….when the rain fall in bim you can’t even get home off the streets…realistically…you will need a bigger morgue…and lots of burial ground…..

    Reply
  14. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne March 3, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I’m confused. unless I’m completely mistaken or it has change in the last couple of years, the National Sports Council, in conjunction with the aquatic center and the primary schools on the island already offer a learn to swim program.. The NSC has coaches on staff which work with a schedule set up at the aquatic centre to teach children from the primary schools to swim.. it’s free to the school but the problem is getting the time on the school time table and the transportation costs to get there..

    Reply
  15. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne March 3, 2015 at 11:44 am

    and.. The Lifeguard Service, through the NCC used to have a summer learn to swim program for adults and children.. free of cost (or very minimal) that takes place at certain beaches around the island..

    Reply
  16. Sarah Pomeranz Layne
    Sarah Pomeranz Layne March 3, 2015 at 11:44 am

    and.. The Lifeguard Service, through the NCC used to have a summer learn to swim program for adults and children.. free of cost (or very minimal) that takes place at certain beaches around the island..

    Reply
  17. Buddy Love
    Buddy Love March 3, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    IDIOTS

    Reply
  18. Katharine Clarke-Weekes
    Katharine Clarke-Weekes March 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Just earning a fat salary. You’all need jesus

    Reply
  19. Annosia Holder
    Annosia Holder March 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Lol… what madness this now stupse do!

    Reply
  20. Annosia Holder
    Annosia Holder March 3, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Lol… what madness this now stupse do!

    Reply
  21. Sterlin Blackman
    Sterlin Blackman March 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I guess them went to church and ready to meet their maker, that is the only ready that can happen on a flat rock in the ocean… ready to die. Them saw what it did to others who also said they were ready?

    Reply
  22. kathy-Ann Clarke March 3, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Dont care how much ready they want people to be, we humans will always be caught off-guard. We do not ever know when a disaster will appear. God help us all!!

    Reply
  23. Angus B Post
    Angus B Post March 3, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Lol. …for starters we are below sea level. …i was watching a tsunami report on CNN sometime back& they said it went almost 150 miles inland. ..where is 150 miles from any beach here? …all this waste time just ta make y’all feel important? Come on, do something that would really benefit this lil place please

    Reply
  24. Matthew Grosvenor
    Matthew Grosvenor March 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    How do you prepare for a tsunami?

    Reply
  25. Candice Coppola
    Candice Coppola March 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    what really scares me is that the head of the national emergency organization conceptualized this idea, and then it had to be passed through a handful of other people to get approved…. and not a one of them said “hey, this is a stupid idea.”

    Reply
  26. Mark Walkes March 4, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Is Judy Thomas for real? Swimming as a contingency for a Tsunami? I thought I’ve heard it all but this is at the top of the ladder with its folly. Has seen really studied footage of the tsunamis in Japan, Indonesia and the other countries affected by the 2004 event? Clearly swimmers and non-swimmers will suffer the same fate if caught in the direct path of a tsunami.

    Maybe she’d be better off saying we should train people to run like Usain Bolt..lol.

    Is there a tsunami warning centre in Bim? In a nation as congested as Barbados and relatively low lying areas, where are these escape routes to higher ground that can be invoked at very short notice?

    Her comments make Bim a laughing stock when it comes to disaster preparation and contingency. Does she think a tsunami is a hurricane whereby you know in advance of a hit?

    Reply

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