UK and Cayman hold joint hurricane exercise

| 20/06/2019
CNS Local Life
Governor Martyn Roper at the joint exercise

(CNS Local Life): This week various Cayman departments took part in a joint training programme and exercise with counterparts in the UK and the British High Commission in Kingston to simulate a response to a major hurricane strike on Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Local participants in the exercise were teams from the Governor’s Office, Hazard Management Cayman Islands, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the 911 Communication Centre and the Government Information Service.

The exercise was designed to test new procedures and equipment introduced after the 2017 hurricanes that affected the Eastern Caribbean, said a press release. This included a new computer system that will allow emergency services in Cayman to share and coordinate data on missing and affected persons with the UK authorities through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Crisis Centre in London.

New satellite communications systems that were introduced to the Governor’s Office at the end of last year to provide options for speaking to government agencies in the UK, including the British military, were also used during the simulation. Specialists from the UK also provided media training for key officers. In London the FCO’s Crisis Centre was activated for the exercise with more than 60 personnel involved in the simulation.

Governor Martyn Roper, who participated in the exercise, said in the press release, “It is vital that we develop a close working relationship with the FCO’s Crisis Team and regional Posts to ensure that should a disaster strike the Cayman Islands we can effectively coordinate the logistical, policy, security and military support that can be provided to assist us.

“It is also important that we communicate effectively with foreign governments through the Foreign Office who may have their own nationals caught up in any crisis and may also be able to provide support. We learnt a number of lessons from the storms in 2017 and I am pleased to see that some of the procedures being trialed in Cayman this week will result in an improved response. We are also looking forward to a further visit from RFA Mounts Bay at the end of this month which will be a further chance to practise our joint response to a potential disaster with the UK armed forces.”  

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