NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — The Nevis Disaster Management Committee hosted its first meeting for 2021 on April 20, ahead of this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs from June 01 to November 30.
Deputy Premier Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister responsible for Disaster Management in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) spoke to the various stakeholder agency representatives about preparedness efforts on Nevis for possible disaster.
“There’s no doubt about it that disasters will strike us from time to time, no matter where you live on this earth, whether it’s a natural disaster or man-made disaster. You cannot always be fully prepared, the best you can do is to try to prepare as much as you can, and deal with the circumstances as they come.
“I believe we are in a much better position to deal with circumstances as they come this year if we were to deal with a hurricane or tropical storm or anything that may displace us in any way or create any difficulties for us.
“I do believe we have the capability and the capacity to deal with what is before us this year. We can always prepare, but we don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know if we can always get it right but we will try our best,” he said.
Early predictions are that the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season will have above normal activity, calling for 17 named tropical cyclone formations including eight hurricanes, four of which are predicted to be major hurricanes.
Mr. Jeffers said, “We cannot just sit back and not prepare, so we are starting very early, and as such we are hoping with our early preparations we will be in a much better position if the need arises.”
Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD), said the agency had already reviewed its disaster plan which looked at earthquake hazard, hurricane hazard, flood hazard and mass crowd gatherings.
“We have to ensure that we continuously enhance our knowledge, our professional development, investment in technologies, improvement in situational awareness skills, and bolstering our partnerships.
“In spite of the inherent and developmental challenges the Nevis Disaster Management Department remains resolute in improving our understanding of disaster risks while building capacity to reduce the impact of disasters in our communities and across the island by extension,” he said.
During the meeting representatives from the various disaster stakeholder agencies produced reports that outlined their preparedness plans, strategies and programs.
The meeting was held at the NDMD conference room at Long Point.