NEMO conducts training ahead of hurricane season

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

With the hurricane season exactly one month away,the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) countrywide is gearing up for the season. The NEMO San Pedro Brach is no exception and on Thursday April 25th, conducted training with some of its members of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Management. The training took place at Fido’s Courtyard and had the participation the Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mayor Mito Paz.
According to the NEMO Coordinator for the cayes (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) Jeromey Timrose Augustine, there were four objectives of the EOC Management training. “The purpose was for the members to determine the functions of an EOC; look at how an EOC should be sited, designed, set up and operated; see some of the resources required in an EOC and lastly review the importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) in running an EOC,” said Augustine.

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During the training existing EOC procedures, tools and best practices were also presented. This, said Augustine, will further strengthen and improve the effectiveness and timely relief of assistance to save lives. She said that by presenting existing EOC procedures, continuity of operations,in the aftermath of national or district emergency or disaster is ensured.

“This is a big job, but with the right tools and the right management approach, our EOC or Command Centre can do things successfully. If a disaster occurs, our organization or our committees should be able to protect themselves and the lives of our people,” emphasised Augustine.
The importance of SOP’s in the EOC is to allow for better coordinated actions on the ground in a simple and routine manner, in times of disaster. Such a procedure indicates the preplanned actions needed for a particular scenario, event and situation. Furthermore, the SOPs can be used as a guide and also as a training document that can demonstrate the readiness of an EOC.GE
“Being well prepared for an emergency/disaster should make our organization prepared for any potential disruption to the continuity of our operations. Whether man-made or natural disaster, the event information management principles and procedures given are absolutely essential to the well-being of our people and organization,” stated Augustine about the importance of the training.

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The training was specifically for emergency operation centre chairpersons and members. It was geared for them to have a better understanding on the role and function of the EOC and their role and responsibility in the EOC. A total of 13 people attended the training.
The official hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th. The Weather Channel calls for another active season in the Atlantic for 2013. A total of 16 named storms are expected, with 9 expected to reach hurricane status, and of those, five are expected to become major hurricanes of a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
The 2013 hurricane season is slightly above average when considering the activity from 1995-2012, when there were 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. The names of the 2013 hurricanes are: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

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