Montserrat’s Emergency Management Standard Review starts today!

A one-week baseline assessment workshop began today at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) to review Montserrat’s Emergency Management Standard.

The assessment is being conducted by members of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) in the USA. EMAP is an independent non-profit organization that fosters excellence and accountability in emergency management and programs by establishing credible standards in a peer-reviewed accreditation process.

The workshop evaluates Montserrat’s disaster management programme to see where it meets EMAP standards and to look at areas for improvement to strengthen the island’s emergency preparedness measures and response capabilities efficiently and effectively.

This week’s activity is critical and timely due to an increase in catastrophic natural disasters caused by climate change.

The Emergency Management Standard covers Program Management, Administration and Finance, and Laws and Authorities; Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Consequence Analysis; Hazard Mitigation, Prevention; Continuity Planning and Procedures; Operational Planning and Procedures; Incident Management; Resource Management; Mutual Aid and Logistics; Communications and Warning; Facilities; Training; Exercises, Evaluations and Corrective Action and Emergency Public Education and Information.

The workshop is bringing together disaster management stakeholders from the Montserrat Fire and Rescue Services, Customs, Montserrat Port Authority, Royal Montserrat Defence Force, Royal Montserrat Police Service, John A Osborne Airport, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and the Environment, Ministry of Finance, Public Works Department and Montserrat Red Cross.

The workshop, which runs from Monday, 19 February to Friday, 23 February 2024, is sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) and hosted by DMCA.

The Antigua and Barbuda Services has issued a High Wind Advisory for Montserrat after midnight until Thursday morning, for exposed coastal waters and elevated and open terrains on the windward side of the island.

Synopsis: Strong gusty winds, due to the forecast tightening of the pressure gradient, are expected. The direct wind threat level will be minimal to life, livelihood, property and infrastructure; notwithstanding, these winds could make some outdoor activities uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous. High winds could create dangerous falling or blowing objects. A high wind advisory means strong sustained winds in the range of 25 to 31 mph, 22 to 27 knots with higher gusts imminent or occurring.

Wind: East-northeast at 15 to 25 knots; 17 to 29 mph, with strong gusts to 39 knots; 44 mph. The strongest winds are expected on Wednesday.

Potential impacts: Includes injuries; very hazardous seas; soil erosion; localized disruptions of some businesses; disruptions to outdoor and sporting activities; disruptions of transportation (air and especially sea); vehicular accidents and financial losses.

Caution: Residents should secure loose, light outdoor items, which can be blown away, and caution should be taken when driving.

Hurricane Season Ends Today; Residents on Montserrat can now breathe a collective sigh of relief!

The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season officially ends today, Thursday, November 30.

The last six months were filled with multiple threats and one very close. Montserrat was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Tammy, and we were extremely fortunate that the system turned away from us.

We are hopeful, that this streak will continue for many years to come!

This 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season saw above-normal activity with 20 named storms. Seven storms were hurricanes, and three intensified into major hurricanes. This season ranks fourth for the most-named storms in a year since 1950.

Know the Tsunami Natural Warning Signs – FEEL, SEE, HEAR, RUN.

Today, Sunday, 5 November 2023, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) unites with the global community to observe World Tsunami Awareness Day.

Tsunamis are rare, but their impact can be highly deadly and devastating. A tsunami is a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance usually associated with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides, and coastal rock falls.

Tsunamis are often accompanied by natural signs: FEEL, SEE, HEAR, RUN. Therefore, it’s vital residents and visitors on Montserrat know the tsunami warning signs when they’re at the beach before a wave strikes to save their lives.

If you’re near the shoreline and feel a strong or long earthquake, see a sudden rise or fall of the ocean or hear a loud roar from the ocean, a tsunami may follow. This is your warning. Run to higher ground as fast as you can.

World Tsunami Awareness Day is being held under the theme of ‘Fighting Inequality for a Resilient Future’. The main objective is to raise awareness about reducing the risks created by tsunamis and improving community preparedness on Montserrat.

In December 2015, the UN General Assembly designated 5th November as World Tsunami Awareness Day.

May be an image of ?water and ?text that says '?WORLD TSUNAMI AWARENESS 5 NOVEMBER DAY "Fighting Inequality for a resilient future" ? CEPSATHEVLSTIEN?'??

Operations and Logistics Officer at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) Kelvin White is attending the 14th Civil Society Sector Sub-Committee (CSSSC) Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago from October 25-27.

As a CDEMA Participating State, the DMCA on Montserrat was identified as a Technical Representative on the Committee.

The aim of the two-day meeting is to review and update the work programme of the CSSSC; create and endorse a plan of action for the implementation of the Work Programme and provide relevant updates from each CSSSC member on efforts to achieve results under the Regional Outcomes of Priority Area 4 of the CDM Strategy – Community Resilience.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity for exploring synergies and other relevant projects being undertaken within CDEMA’s 19 Participating States.

The Civil Society Sector Sub-Committee (CSSSC) is a subcommittee of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy (CDM) Coordination and Harmonization Council (CDM CHC) and has the responsibility of guiding CDM implementation in the Civil Society Sector.

Photo Courtesy: CDEMA

HURRICANE HAZARD

The Annual Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. 

A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities). Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are called tropical storms.

When a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph, it is called a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, based on a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane’s potential for property damage.

Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. A six-year rotating list of names, updated and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms.

  • A Bulletin is issued when a significant weather system is detected in the area.
  • An Advisory is issued at regular intervals when a tropical storm or hurricane is first detected in the area.
  • ? A Watch is issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm-force winds.
  • ? A Warning is issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm-force winds. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

58 Years Ago: Remembering the Pan-American Aircraft Crash In Chance’s Mountain!

58 years old, on Friday, 17 September 1965, Pan-American Airways Boeing 707 Jet, crashed in Chance’s Mountain in the southern part of Montserrat, killing all 21 passengers and 9 crew members on board.

The aircraft, was on a flight from Fort-de-France, Martinique to Coolidge International Airport in Antigua and Barbuda when it crashed into Chances Peak.

While on approach to Coolidge International Airport in stormy weather, at an altitude of 2,760 ft, the aircraft hit the 3,002 ft high Chances Peak and caught fire. The cause was determined to be poor visibility and pilot error: the crew made a navigational error and descended below the safe minimum altitude while unsure of their position.

The Pan Am Flight 292, final destination was New York City.