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Executive Council decided that the process of reviewing and updating national and agency level plans, needed to be expedited. To that end, it was agreed that a Facilitator should be dedicated to the task, working with representatives of selected agencies. In the case of this Revised National Disaster Plan, a Working Group with the composition shown below was established. I am satisfied that this revised National Disaster Plan has built on the sound foundation which our previous plans represent. It enhances our efforts at Contingency Planning by being comprehensive, yet user friendly, flexible, logical and systematic. It is now up to all of us to embrace its guidelines, principles and suggestions. Elton Georges, OBE Chairman NEAC 2 COMPOSITION OF NATIONAL PLAN WORKING GROUP NAME AGENCY Ms. Sharleen DaBreo Department of Disaster Management Mr. John Samuel Marine Services Unit Mr. William Penn BVI Fire and Rescue Services Ms. Faye Reese Chief Minister’s Office Ms. Jewel Guishard Ministry of Communications and Works Dr. Irad Potter Health Services Mrs. Annie Malone Social Development Department Frett Mrs. Rosalie Herbert Education Department Mrs. Sandra Crawford Department of Information and Public Relations Mrs Vicki Lettsome Department of Information and Public Relations Mrs. Geraldine Ritter- Freeman Mr. Malcolm Kirk Governor’s Office Mr. Roger Bellers British Overseas Territories Disaster Management Adviser Mr. Michael Donovan Superintendent, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Mrs. Edris O’Neal BVI Red Cross Mr. Hemant Balgobin BVI Red Cross Mr. Anslem Myers Solid Waste Division 3 (ii) ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Department of Disaster Management is grateful to all members of the Working Group, their agency heads and support staff for their contributions to the revision of this plan. We are particularly grateful for the spirit of cooperation and commitment, which was in evidence throughout the plan review process. It truly reinforced the fundamental principle that Emergency/Disaster Management is a multi-agency collaborative activity. We are grateful also to those agencies, which reviewed early drafts of the plan and provided suggestions for improvement. The contribution of the Department of Information and Public Relations in the typing and formatting of the documents through the efforts of Ms. Athena Maduro have gone a long way in enhancing the readability and attractiveness of the document. Mrs. Karen Maduro of the Elections Office, assisted in corrections to the draft and typing the hazard specific annexes. The Department is also grateful to Disaster Management Consultant, Franklyn Michael for the expertise, which he shared in facilitating the review of the Plan. Sharleen DaBreo Director, Disaster Management 4 (iii) COMMITMENT PLEDGE The members of the BVI National Disaster Plan Working Group recognize that this document should be used by all agencies to prepare for and respond to the hazards herein identified and to any other emergency requiring a coordinated multi- agency response. In preparing this document, we are all conscious that our primary goal is to save lives not only through effective emergency response actions but by systematic and consistent activities executed before the imminent threat of a hazard impact. By affixing our signatures below, we affirm the following: We will support the Department of Disaster Management in staging exercises to bolster familiarity with the plan and testing its provisions We will act as catalysts within our own organizations to improve emergency and disaster management. We reaffirm our agency’s acceptance of its own role and respect for the roles of other agencies. We embrace the fundamental principles of Comprehensive Disaster Management i.e. hazards of all kinds, action at all Phases of the Disaster Cycle and implementation from the National to the Community level. We reaffirm our commitment to cooperative, collaborative, coordinated and mutually supportive actions in all aspects of Emergency and Disaster Management. Name: Sharleen DaBreo, Director of Disaster Management Signature: ____________________________ Name: Dr. Irad Potter, Director of Health Services Signature: ____________________________ Name: Annie Malone Frett, Chief Social Development Officer Signature ____________________________ 5 Name: Anslem Myers, Manager, Solid Waste Division Signature: ____________________________ Name: Rosalie Herbert, Senior Administrative Officer, Ministry of Health and Welfare Signature: ____________________________ Name: John Samuel, Director of Marine Services Signature: ____________________________ Name: Edris O’Neal, Director, BVI Red Cross Signature: ____________________________ Name: Hemant Balgobin, Representative, BVI Red Cross Signature: ____________________________ Name: Geraldine Ritter Freeman, Ag. Chief Information Officer, Information Department Signature: ____________________________ Name: Vicki Samuel Lettsome, Information Officer, Information Department Signature: ____________________________ Name: Michael Donovan, Superintendent, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Signature: ____________________________ Name: William Penn, Station Officer, Fire and Rescue Services Signature: ____________________________ 6 Name: Faye Reese, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Works Signature: ____________________________ Name: Malcolm Kirk, Private Secretary, Governor’s Office Signature: ____________________________ Name: Jewel Guishard, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Communications & Works Signature: _____________________________ Name: Roger Bellers, Disaster Management Adviser to the British Overseas Territories Signature: _____________________________ 7 SECTION A 1.0 BACKGROUND 1.1 AUTHORITY This National Disaster Management Plan envisages preparations for and responses to a wide range of hazards and incidents. They are identified in the Plan. The Plan is based upon the realization that not every hazard impact or incident will constitute a disaster. It is also based on the fact that some hazards such as hurricanes may give a relatively long lead-time for preparations whereas an explosion will not. The Plan will be implemented on the basis of the authority implied in its endorsement and approval by the Executive Council. Enactment of the Disaster Management Act, inter alia: - clarifies the authority and role of the Director of Disaster Management - the composition and functions of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) - the required contents of the National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan - provisions for the management of specially vulnerable areas - hazard inspections and the powers of inspectors - regulations for the management of emergency shelters - defines offences and spells out penalties There are also laws and regulations specific to sectors and agencies which are relevant to the Plan e.g. Fire Prevention and Control and Petroleum Regulations 1.1.1 EMERGENCY POWERS The Leeward Islands Emergency Powers Order in Council 1959 provides the legal basis for the exercise of emergency powers by the Governor. The Governor is required to consult the Chief Minister unless circumstances make it impractical to do so. The Emergency Powers legislation, gives the Governor powers to bypass the normal legislative process, when the exigencies of the situation require such action. 8 Specifically, the Governor may during a period of emergency “make such laws as appear to be necessary or expedient of securing the public safety, defence the maintenance of public order, or for maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community.” It is obvious form the above, that during a period of emergency, directives given by HE the Governor (after consultation with the Hon. Chief Minister) can have the force of law when promulgated in the requisite manner. The procedures laid down in the National Disaster Management Plan will have the necessary legal framework in an emergency when HE the Governor provides the necessary directives and executes those directives in accordance with the provisions of the law. 1.2 ADMINISTRATIVE CONTEXT The Government of the British Virgin Islands regards the management of crises, emergencies and disasters as one of its primary responsibilities in support of the developmental objectives of saving human lives, protecting the natural environment, maintaining the social and economic infrastructure, and promoting equity and sustainable development. These policies are all clearly outlined in the National Integrated Development Strategy. Specifically, the role of disaster Management in reducing vulnerability is clearly outlined. Government has taken the lead in promoting a comprehensive approach to Disaster Management, in which appropriate policies, strategies, structures, plans, projects, programmes and resources are put in place in all phases of the Disaster Cycle to plan for, prepare for, and respond to recover from disasters of all kinds. Emphasis is also being placed on the development of skills and capacity building in all organizations. Government continues to promote the appropriate enabling environment by ensuring that relevant legislation is updated and enacted and that such institutional and organizational frameworks as are necessary, are put in place. 1.2.1 DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN THE B.V.I. Note: Key terms are defined in the Glossary. The Governor has overall responsibility for disaster management in the British Virgin Islands. But he can nominate a Minister or a Public Officer to serve as Chairman of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC). There are two organizational structures operating within the Emergency Management system in the British Virgin Islands. There is the National Disaster 9 Organization that deals with issues from Executive Council to the community level, and there is the Department of Disaster Management, which administers the disaster management program. (See appendix) 1.2.2 THE NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COUNCIL The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) is an inter- institutional umbrella organization that normally meets at the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season to review reports and work programmes and make recommendations to government on disaster management. It is organized into eight sub-committees – Health; Welfare Services and Relief Distribution; Damage Assessment and Mitigation; Public Education, Information and Training; Emergency Telecommunication; Marine Pollution Action Group; Transport, Road Clearance and logistics; and Administration and Finance. Each sub-committee is expected to have its own sub-plan, which becomes part of the National Disaster Plan, and to exercise and update this plan. The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) has the mandate for policy and the execution of the work done by the Department of Disaster Management. When this body meets, whatever policies or new projects proposed must be presented to the Council for approval. On a day-to-day basis, this is done through the current Chairman – the Deputy Governor 1.2.3 THE DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT (DDM) The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) was established in the year 2002 as a government department under the Deputy Governor’s Office. The person directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of the DDM is the Director of Disaster Management. This Officer is responsible for coordinating all national emergency services. The antecedent was the Office of Disaster Preparedness established in 1983. When the DDM is activated during a disaster/emergency situation, it becomes the secretariat and base of the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). When the NEOC is set up, officials from the critical agencies and the emergency services report to the NEOC, from where official information would be disseminated and critical response actions coordinated. DDM’s Vision An organization that anticipates the potential negative impacts of disasters and emergency situations and develops effective and efficient plans, procedures and systems to minimize such impacts, by relying on sound principles of Disaster Management, community participation and interagency collaboration. 10 DDM’s Mission To reduce loss of life and property within the Territory of the British Virgin Islands by ensuring the adequate preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery mechanisms are established to counteract the impact of natural and man-made hazards. DDM’s Values a. The goal of the DDM is to preserve human life in times of crisis. b. Effective Disaster Management depends upon the consistent coordination and integration of the work of many agencies, organizations and individuals. c. A community that is well prepared for hazards of all kinds will survive and recover quickly from disasters. d. Excellent service must be provided to the community before, during and after a disaster or emergency. e. Flexibility and adaptability of approach must be the basis of the delivery of disaster management services. f. Staff commitment, capacity, teamwork and motivation will be the primary contributors to the organization’s success. DDM’s Function Disaster Management is the overall function of this department. The department strives to efficiently and effectively administer those components of the Territory’s Disaster Management Programme for which it is responsible (mitigation planning, community preparedness, public information, emergency telecommunications and recovery coordination) in accordance with relevant legislation, government policy and public accountability requirements. 1.2.4 ZONAL COMMITTEES The Territory was divided into ten (10) zones for the purpose of community level organization and participation in Disaster Management. The zones include committees on the Sister Islands. Activity varies from zone to zone and consequently the degree of empowerment and participation in the National Disaster Management Program. (See appendix) 11 1.2.5 DISASTER AUXILIARY CORPS (DAC) The DAC was established in 1995. The objectives of the DAC are to train and organize volunteers to assist in disaster preparedness activities and in the performance of immediate post disaster relief and rehabilitation actives and inform volunteers regarding disasters and disaster preparedness in general. The group in the main consists of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years. To become fully trained and prepared to assist the DDM members undergo a training program. Training includes radio operations, shelter management, first aid and disaster management concepts. The DAC provides a pool of additional personnel for the DDM especially during “high alert” and response activities. 1.2.6 AD HOC COMMITTEES The DDM often establishes ad hoc committees to advance its work program. These include those with a strong sectoral focus such as tourism. Such committees are often set up to assist in updating plans or in staging exercises such as Mass Casualty or airport accident simulations. 1.2.7 LIAISON OFFICERS Departments and agencies in the public sector are expected to appoint Liaison Officers to interface with the Department of Disaster Management on matters, which affect their organizations generally or specifically. These officers are expected to take the lead in agency preparedness activities. The Director of Disaster Management shall establish a liaison with such organization in the private sector to establish appropriate communication links. Further, the Director may enter into such arrangements as are considered necessary with any organization requiring the provision by that organization of any information deemed necessary by the Director of Disaster Management. 1.3 PLANNING DATA 1.3.1 THE CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY (CDERA) The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), an inter- government, regional disaster management organization was established in 1991 by an Agreement of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Headquartered in Barbados and with a membership of 16 States, CEDERA was 12 mandated to coordinate disaster response. The Agency also undertook to conduct disaster preparedness training and public education programmes. The B.V.I. has been a member of CDERA from its inception in 1991 when the then Chief Minister, the Honourable H. Lavity Stoutt, was a signatory to signed agreement establishing the Agency. CDERA’s main function is to make an immediate and coordinated response to any disastrous event affecting any of its Participating States, once the State requests such assistance. The other functions of CDERA include securing, collating and channeling (to interested governmental and non-governmental organizations) comprehensive and reliable information on disasters affecting the region; mitigating or eliminating as far as possible, the consequences of disasters affecting Participating States; establishing and maintaining (on a sustainable basis), adequate disaster response capabilities among Participating States; and mobilizing and coordinating disaster relief from governmental and non-governmental organizations for affected Participating States. The Agency is headed by a Regional Coordinator who is responsible for the work and staff of the Coordinating Unit and who is accountable to the Council, which comprises the Minister with responsibility for Disaster Management in each Participating State. A Board of Directors (comprising the National Disaster Coordinators in each Participating State), serves as an advisory body to the Coordinator, and reviews the Agency’s financial status and its annual work programme. Over the years, CDERA’s mandate has expanded and now includes training, institutional strengthening for Disaster Management Organizations, development of model Disaster Legislation, contingency planning, resource mobilization, improving early warning and telecommunication systems, education and public awareness. CDERA collaborates with national, regional and international organizations, which have overlapping interest in these areas. The Agency is vigorously promoting the concept of comprehensive Disaster Management among all Participating States. 13 2.0 INTRODUCTION 2.1 USER’S GUIDE This Revised National Disaster Plan (NDP) is divided into 4 sections. Section A - the Background This section of the Plan describes the Administrative environment, the purpose of the plan, the hazard and vulnerability issues of greatest relevance, the importance of pre-event preparedness and the roles and responsibilities of critical agencies. Section B – Plan Execution This section of the Plan identifies and explains the mechanisms by which the Plan is to be activated and the suggested activities to be executed. It prioritizes the immediate response actions likely to be required after most hazard impacts and the national-level actions, which should be taken to promote effective responses to hazard impacts. Section C – Special Circumstances This section of the Plan offers guidelines with regard to the activation of the NEOC, Recovery Planning, mass casualties and assistance from other jurisdictions. This section of the plan aims to provide continuity since the topics referred to for the most part are related plans governed by detailed written procedures, which would form an adjunct to the NDP. Section D – Annexes and Appendices This section of the Plan provides guidelines for responding to the specific hazards and hazard groups, which received priority attention in the planning process e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, transport accidents etc. The appendices provide detailed contact-information and basic planning information, which though relevant, must be updated frequently to retain its value during actual emergency responses. The information includes contact lists and associated personnel deployment availability listings. 2.2 GOAL OF THE NATIONAL DISASTER PLAN The goal of the National Disaster Plan is to provide a framework, which promotes centralized coordination, control and effective collaboration in preparing 14 for and providing immediate responses to the hazards shown below or any other unforeseen hazards, which could arise. The Plan is an over-arching document which is supported by a range of important subsidiary plans such as the: Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Plan NEOC Plan The Recovery Plan Agency Plans The External Affairs Disaster Plan The Oil Spill Plan Major Economic Sector Plans Operations Orders The National Mitigation Strategy NIDP Hazard Specific Plans Telecoms Plan Evacuation Plan HAZARDS AND INCIDENTS COVERED BY THE PLAN NATURAL HAZARDS Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Earthquakes Floods Landslides Tsunami Drought HUMAN-INDUCED HAZARDS AND INCIDENT THREATS • Transport Incidents and Accidents - Air - Sea (Ferry, Cruise Ships) - Land • Oil Spills -- A separate plan exists for Oil Spills • Fires • HAZMATS – A separate plan exists for HAZMATS • Bomb Threats – Terrorist incidents • Mass Gatherings – A separate plan exist for mass gathering • Epidemics • Biological Hazards 15 2.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE PLAN Clarify the many roles and responsibilities required for effective emergency and disaster responses. Outline procedures, which enhance timeliness and effectiveness in emergency and disaster situations. Specify the procedures, which should be followed to save lives, reduce human suffering and promote rapid Disaster Recovery. Present mechanisms for warning and informing the public during critical stages of an emergency response. Establish procedures for the deployment of materials, manpower and equipment to the site of any emergency or disaster. Promote the involvement and empowerment of organizations representing the community and civil society in effective disaster Response. Identify the mechanisms for obtaining external assistance if required in an emergency or Disaster. 2.4 CRITICAL ASSUMPTIONS The following assumptions underpin the revision of the National Disaster Plan:- 1. All relevant agencies will embrace the Plan as the primary national-level framework for emergency and disaster response. 2. The resources, which were identified during the planning process as being essential to its implementation, will be provided. 3. Agencies will develop the necessary internal plans and procedures required in support of this Plan. 4. The Contingency Planning process will continue in areas such as training, orientation, simulation exercises, public awareness and national capacity building. 5. In general, the individuals required to perform critical roles in emergencies will be available when required or have capable stand-ins. 16 3.0 HAZARDS, VULNERABILITIES AND RISKS A hazard and risk assessment was conducted in the B.V.I. during the period 1995 to 1997 with the intention, inter-alia to prioritize the hazards that affect the B.V.I. Findings of the hazard assessment indicated that there are two (2) natural hazards with the potential to severely affect the Territory; these are noted as: (1) The effects of tropical systems and related weather systems including land-born flooding, wind damage, and coastal flooding; (2) The effects of earthquakes including severe ground shaking, tsunami generated flooding and landslides; NOTE: Land slides and rockslides (a minor threat but are considered a secondary hazard generated from a tropical system or earthquake event). Furthermore, the hazard assessment noted that the most significant technological (man-induced) hazards were: Exposure of the environment to hazardous chemicals; Large explosions; Accidents related to mass transportation via air and sea. While the hazard assessment identified the above hazards, for the purpose of this plan, additional hazards were identified as having some level of impact on the B.V.I. environment. These are: Bomb threats Biological agents Epidemics Drought Terrorism Tropical systems have been perceived as the most severe of the natural hazards identified, given the damaging effects of high velocity winds on structures and the environment. The hazard assessment noted that narrow areas along ridgelines and locations above 1,000 feet in elevation should be classified as high- risk areas. The major population centers of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada face the greatest threat from storm surge that can produce coastal flooding and damage to property and infrastructure. The Territory is located within seismically active zones in the northeastern Caribbean that have the capacity to produce damaging earthquakes in the B.V.I. The zones that pose the greatest threat are those associated with the Anegada Trough and the Puerto Rico Trench. The major population centers of Tortola and 17 Anegada are most vulnerable to ground shaking effects, particularly Wickham’s Cay in Road Town and severe flooding from tsunami. The risk assessment identified buildings, utility networks, critical facilities, coastal marine resources and the boating sector as those features that are risk given the current vulnerability of the territory to natural hazards. 4.0 PRE-EVENT PREPAREDNESS 4.1 NATIONAL LEVEL PRIORITIES Effective, well-coordinated and timely Emergency Response occurs when a high level of preparedness exists among all agencies on a day-to-day basis. There are many components to such preparedness and responsibility rests on all agencies to promote and do what is required. The areas highlighted below are intended as a brief reminder of some of the most important aspects of such readiness. 4.1.1 TRAINING Training in operational responses to emergencies should be seen as part of the routine of all emergency response agencies. The training should be relevant to the Territory and involve the use of equipment, which will be used in actual emergencies. Heads of Departments or agencies should take responsibility for ensuring appropriate induction training for new staff and for specialized training for more experienced staff relative to the agencies mandates and the hazards the BVI is likely to face. 4.1.2 RESOURCING Effective emergency response relies on the availability of capable personnel and appropriate equipment being available when required, in emergencies and disasters. This means that each agency must try to maintain appropriate levels of trained staff and equipment. 4.1.3 MAINTENANCE In addition to agencies obtaining facilities and appropriate resources, assets will require appropriate maintenance if they are to provide requisite service at short notice. It should be remembered that some level of redundancy should be built in for indispensable equipment to ensure that there is always the capacity to respond. Sensitive equipment in particular, should not be allowed to remain idle. Agencies 18 should diligently follow manufacturers maintenance recommendations. The relevant manuals and guidelines should be kept in close proximity to the equipment to promote effective maintenance. 4.1.4 ADEQUACY OF PLANS Plans and guidelines are the foundation of effective emergency response. The National Disaster Management Council should establish frameworks for the updating of all National level contingency plans. In general, no current contingency plan should be more than 5 years old. Further, checklists and contact lists within plans, should be updated at least annually. Wherever personnel listings require the use of names in preference to job titles, such lists should be updated at least annually. 4.1.5 EXERCISES Simulation exercises have the potential to improve contingency planning and emergency response. Full-scale exercises are very expensive in terms of time and human resources and can be disruptive of normal public services. This is balanced by the great benefit that is derived by staging such exercises. It is strongly recommended that the response agencies should agree to stage at least one full Field Exercise per year. This would allow for constant testing of the National Plan and associated agency procedures. A rational basis for updating the Plan and procedures would thus emerge. 4.1.6 PUBLIC INFORMATION Residents and visitors to the Territory need to be educated about major hazards, their effects and impacts. In particular, people need to be made aware of what they themselves can do in emergencies and disasters to respond to hazards of all kinds. This requires a constant flow of advisory information on the full range of hazards. It is desirable that such campaigns involve many forms of the media and several agencies, thus ensuring mass outreach, mass appeal and consistency in the messages. The public must be made aware of all national level warning and alert systems, contingency arrangements for evacuation and shelter and all rules and regulations governing emergency management. 4.1.7 EMERGENCY SUPPLIES In disasters, normal commercial activities are disrupted. Depending on the degree of destruction there could be a long hiatus before normal supply arrangements are reinstated. This means that a minimal level of critical supplies 19 should always be stored at designated Emergency Shelters at National Warehouses by Government agencies. Care must be exercised with regard to the storage and security arrangements for such supplies. There must be appropriate administrative arrangements in place for checking and replacing supplies. Great care should be taken with regard to the storage of First Aid supplies since some medicines rapidly lose potency if they are not stored under appropriate conditions. Further, medicines may remain past their expiry date without being replaced if inspections are not done regularly. It is expected that all agencies will maintain at least a limited quantity of those products and supplies most directly related to their mandate. 4.1.8 WARNING ARRANGEMENTS Sudden impact disasters such as major earthquakes, explosions and some mass transport accidents come without warning. On the other hand, many hazards announce the potential for impact or escalation beforehand. It is important that residents and visitors have reliable warning systems, which provide the maximum notice of the possibility of a hazard impact. It is obvious that warning methods must involve systems, which can reach large numbers of people at any time, simultaneously. The existing National Emergency Broadcast system in its entirety provides such a system. However, it must be bolstered by audible warnings, which can catch people’s attention immediately. Ultimately, a siren system, which can be heard throughout the Territory, is a crucial asset. This project is currently underway. Warning arrangements are tied into a National Alert system. The newly developed Alert System seeks to guide the public by providing a phased or graded alert schema which can be used to guide the public as to what actions they should be taking to save lives and minimize property damage and losses. 4.1.9 EMERGENCY SHELTERS One feature of disasters is extensive damage to buildings, including houses and other residential buildings. Emergency accommodation for those made homeless (at least temporarily) by a disaster, becomes one of the most important emergency response tasks. Decisions regarding buildings, which are suitable for use as shelters, must be made long before the threat of any specific event. Further, there must be a comprehensive shelter management programme, which includes regular assessment and maintenance of buildings, corrective repairs and emergency stockpiling. Shelter Managers must be trained, rules and procedures must be 20 developed and the public must be made aware of the locations of shelters and the obligations of shelterees. 4.1.10 COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS Effective emergency and disaster response is impossible without an effective Territory-wide emergency communication system. The BVI has already invested in such a system. However, the maintenance of the entire system must be regular and on schedule. Further, all agencies involved in the national network should participate in the regular test of the system which is conducted each working day. Any weaknesses in the system should be promptly reported to the Disaster Management Department so that corrective action can be taken. It is critical that all persons who could be required to use emergency communications equipment in a real event know how to use the equipment and understand the relevant procedures and protocols. This includes the satellite telephones, which have been installed. 4.1.11 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK Effective disaster response is also dependent on an appropriate institutional framework. This means that organizational structures, policies, reporting arrangements, roles and responsibilities, resourcing procedures and inter-agency collaborative arrangements must be in place and maintained at a very high level. It must be stressed that the involvement of the community and non-governmental organizations in the framework is an indispensable part of empowerment and capacity building. 4.1.12 MUTUTAL AID AGREEMENTS In disaster situations, there is the strong likelihood that all agencies and organizations with resources and capacities will help with disaster response. It is best if roles, responsibilities and parameters for assistance; are formally worked out before hand. The primary non-government agencies involved in emergency response should be encouraged to sign Memoranda of Understanding. In addition, existing arrangements such as CDERA’s Regional Response Mechanism and the USVI/BVI Friendship and Cooperation pact should be clearly understood by emergency managers. 21 The Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) of the British Department for International Development (DFID) has developed guidelines, which outline the procedures for obtaining aid in emergencies and disasters. All documents such as the ones referred to above, should be kept current with copies available for easy reference. 4.1.13 REPORTING AND DOCUMENTATION In emergencies and disasters, a wide range of reports is required during and after the event. These include impact and damage assessments and situation reports (SITREPS). It is important that there be a common understanding of the purpose and format of such reports, as part of pre-event preparedness, standard forms for such activities should be duplicated and stockpiled in the most appropriate locations to ensure that no time is lost in developing these reports after the event. 4.1.14 TRACING In a disaster or emergency in which dislocation is extensive, even if it is temporary, the whereabouts of people should as far as possible be known. The International Red Cross has developed Tracing procedures to make the location of people in disasters a more efficient process. The local activities, which are required to support such procedures before an event, must be seen as an important part of National-level pre-event planning. 4.1.15 NEOC CAPACITY Worldwide experience has demonstrated the value of Emergency Operations Centres (EOC’s). Ideally, these are purpose built facilities, which, even if they have secondary uses, are available for activation within a very short time frame. That is only possible when the necessary resources, supplies and equipment are kept in a constant state of readiness. The Primary EOC is the NEOC – the National Emergency Operations Centre – colocated at the DDM. The EOC is such an important part of Emergency and Disaster response that most jurisdictions develop stand-alone Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for the N.E.O.C. Such SOP’s have been developed as an adjunct to this National Disaster Plan. 22 4.1.16 RESOURCE AND ASSET INVENTORY In responding to disasters and emergencies, there is great value in being aware of the nature and numbers of specialized equipment and plant such as bulldozers, graders, fire tenders, large capacity trucks, stand-by (portable) generators and the like. Various systems (e.g. T cards and computer software) have been devised for maintaining such inventories. It is of paramount importance that once a system has been introduced, it is kept up to date. 4.1.17 EVACUATION PLANNING Some hazards may result in precautionary evacuations from areas, which are particularly vulnerable. Planning for such evacuations before an event can greatly reduce the management challenge of evacuations. Planning should focus on: - The hazard and threats likely to lead to evacuation. - Means of evacuation – road, sea, air, on foot. - Crowd control. - Security of evacuated areas. - Emergency accommodation. - Emergency feeding and welfare arrangements. - Policy on returning residents to evacuated areas. - Procedures for return of residents to evacuated areas. 4.1.18 LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS There is an increasing awareness that agencies executing emergency responses should have the protection of comprehensive legislation. Such legislation should be backed up by detailed regulations. Some of the most significant subject areas include: - Evacuation management - Shelter Management - Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) management - Environmental protection - Emergency medical response - Enforcement procedures - Public safety Emergency and disaster response procedures can be greatly enhanced if the necessary laws and regulations have already been enacted before an event or incident. 23 4.1.19 READINESS ASSESSMENTS AND REPORTS The range of pre-event preparedness issues is vast. Further, checks are required among a multiplicity of agencies and at several action-levels to determine the Territory’s overall state of readiness for emergency and disaster response. It is prudent that such system-wide readiness checks should be conducted in a structured fashion. The current NEAC meeting fulfills that function but agencies should be required to supplement the general statements with more detailed assessments of operational readiness regarding manpower capacity and availability, assets and resources, internal procedures and critical needs. 4.1.20 STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVEMENT There is little merit in executing assessments of operational readiness for emergencies and disasters if corrective action is not taken. There should be systematic follow-up each year, with regard to those areas of pre-event readiness identified for improvement and the actions taken (or not taken) to bring about the desired improvements. Strategies should be put in place to ensure that decisions taken are acted upon in a timely fashion. This should include but not be limited to official censure of agencies whose recalcitrance or inefficiency threaten overall readiness. 4.2 PRE-EVENT PREPAREDNESS - AGENCY LEVEL All agencies are expected to take responsibility for their own readiness in terms of facilities, training, resourcing, personnel deployment and safety issues. 4.3 COMMUNITY AND SISTER ISLAND LEVEL There are 10 Zonal Committees, which include those on the Sister Islands. Virgin Gorda has two committees – North Sound and the Valley. The Department of Disaster Management has been working with Zonal Committees to maintain the high performing ones and to revive the flagging ones. There has been agreement that in the case of the Sister Islands, the nurse, fire and police officers automatically become ex-officio members of the committee along with the District Officer for each Sister Island. 24 5.0 GENERAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES It is conceivable that almost every government Department or agency could have a role to play at some stage of the Disaster Cycle. A listing of all such possible roles is impractical and would make this Plan too unwieldy as a reference document. The agencies whose roles are indicated below are the ones, which have roles to play in almost all phases for the hazards identified in the Plan. It is hoped that all other agencies will develop the necessary internal guidelines based on their mandates and service charters and the objectives of the National Disaster Plan. The private sector plays a pivotal role in emergency response and recovery. It is essential that the appropriate discussions are held and agreements converted to Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) with private sector entities such as those identified in the Plan. 5.1 ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND TASKS LEAD AND SUPPORT AGENCIES AGENCY PRE-INCIDENT INCIDENT IMMEDIATE POST RECOVERY Fire and • Raising Alerts Counter • Site inspection Rescue • Surveillance measures • Investigations Incident • Monitoring decontamination review • Training of staff Incident and other command Supervision of agencies other agencies. Reporting • Public Hazard Secondary hazard awareness assessment assessment. • Site inspections Inspection • Enforcement of Inspection and regulations Search and Training Rescue • Drills and NEOC Operations exercises Provide information to other agencies Police • Surveillance Crowd control Site inspection. Incident • Incident review. reporting Evacuation Investigations • Alerting of management agencies • Maritime Traffic control Assist external 25 emergency NEOC Operations agencies if preparedness required. Site security Incident Command Assist external agencies if Provide required. information to other agencies. Marine Response Health Surveillance Emergency Services Medical response Monitoring NEOC Operations Mass casualty Training of staff and management other agencies Overseas Public Awareness medivac Department Monitoring Confirm alert level of Disaster Manageme Incident Reporting Warnings to nt public through Alert raising GIS Public Awareness Sourcing of Facilitating agency additional Site inspections Incident training resources review Assisting in Coordinating drills, Facilitating NEOC investigations Reporting exercises and other operations if training activated Emergency • Plan broadcasts procedures Updating of major Contact with review plans external agencies Coordinate Damage and Emergency Sourcing external Needs broadcasts assistance Assessments NEOC Monitor alert level preparedness Internal MOU’s with agency review agencies Department • Public Warnings and Information Incident of Awareness Alerts request at dissemination. review. 26 Information request of DDM. and Public • Involvement in Submission of Report writing Relations drills, exercises Media liaison on report as required. as required. and other site. training NEOC Operations • Maintenance of equipment and Information ancilliaries dissemination from site. • MOU’s with media houses Governor’s Clarify procedures • Clarify incident Discuss with DG Coordinate Office for assistance with reports. and DDM. assistance HMG (FCO, CHAD, • Liaise with DG from HMG if CDERA) and any and DDM necessary. other external • Transmit agencies. SITREPS Lead on • Facilitate external affairs • Ensure briefings for matters. procedures are EXCO. incorporated in • Consider and plans. approve major news releases • Facilitate liaison with Chief with Chief Minister. Minister’s Office and EXCO. • Liaise with Chief Minister’s Office. • Lead on external affairs. Department Health Surveillance Lead emergency Assess situation. Incident of Health • Review and medical review revise response. Provide information emergency to other agencies. Report writing. health policies. Coordinate external medical Conduct internal Provide • Train staff assistance. reviews. information for other • Participate in Lead medivac Access supply agencies. drills, exercises arrangements. levels. and related training Arrange collection Report on overseas 27 and testing of assessment of • Maintain samples. samples. facilities in a state of Coordinate on- Emergency readiness scene medical mortuary facilities. activities among • Develop NGO’s. Recommend standardized specialist emergency Lead mass assistance procedures casualty required. response. • MOU’s with Private Sector • Coordinate Health Sector preparedness • Provide Resource persons for Training • Promote preventative strategies Ministry of Financial Disbursement of Serve on Finance arrangements in funds in Recovery accordance with accordance with Task Force. Financial regulations. regulations. Develop and promulgate procedures for financing emergency and relief operations. Chief Liaise with Function as Obtain SITREPS Participate in Minister’s Chairman of NEAC required under for Chief Minister Recovery Office to ensure NEOC SOP’s. and EXCO. Task Force as consistency of required. policies and Liaise with DDM Facilitate briefings programs in as required. for EXCO. emergency 28 management. NEOC Operations Ascertain functionality of Participate in Chief Minister’s relevant NEAC Office. committee activities. Determine modus operandi for Provide briefings Liaise with resuming service. for Chief Minister Governor’s Office. and EXCO as Liaise with required. Governor’s Office. Liaise with Assist in Governor’s Office. assessments where appropriate. Ensure sub-units and agencies Work with maintain an Governor’s Office appropriate level of on external preparedness. assistance and foreign affairs. Ensure appropriate internal arrangements. Social • Promote • Assist in • Provide Developme preparedness at identifying and counseling. nt community prioritizing level. community • Provide needs. specialist advice. • Work with DDM • Assist in to enhance registration and community level tracing capacity. activities. • Maintain • Assist in direct shelters to welfare acceptable assistance. standards. • Assist in development of relevant plans. Water and Maintain water Assess damage. Participate in Sewerage supplies. NEOC Operations incident Develop and review. 29 • Develop plans implement for water related guidelines for Provide emergencies. emergency supply specialist of water. advice. • Maintain MOU’s with private Initiate and sector and expedite restoration external works. agencies. • Construct hazard resistant infrastructure. • Assist agencies to develop emergency water supply plans. BVI Monitor Assess situation Provide Electricity transmission and NEOC Operations and report. specialist distribution advice. systems. Develop guidelines for emergency Participate in Develop plans for supply restoration. incident emergencies. reviews. Initiate restoration. Construct hazard Report writing. resistant facilities Conduct damage and systems. and needs assessment. Keep lines clear of bush. Solid Waste Surveillance and Assist in debris Division reporting. removal and road clearance. Maintenance of equipment. Collect waste. Procurement of Incinerate waste. supplies. National Surveillance and Secondary hazard Incident Parks reporting. assessment. review. Trust Public Relations. 30 Conservatio Monitoring Advice on Site inspection Incident n and disposal methods Review Fisheries Surveillance for waste and Environmental debris monitoring Investigations Site Inspections Assistance with Damage Report writing Enforcement of counter measures assessments Regulations Public Public Awareness Training of staff and other agency personnel personnel Incident reporting Public Monitoring Assistance with Site inspection Incident Works counter measures review Surveillance under direction of Site repair Lead Agencies Report writing Incident reporting Lead assessment Provide of infrastructure, Provide Inspection of transportation and key facilities specialist shelters and other equipment as damage and advice and buildings directed identification of services buildings suitable Lead retrofit and NEOC Operations for occupancy if Internal repair necessary. agency review Emergency road and building repairs Debris removal BVI Tourist Work with DDM Monitor the Initiate Tracing in Function as on Board and other agencies situation and conjunction with the Recovery to develop relevant remain in contact DDM and Red Task Force. sector plans and with DDM. Cross. guidelines. Liaise with Assist in hazard Governor’s Office, awareness Chief Minister’s campaigns for Office, DDM and 31 tourists and NEOC. property owners. Liaise with external Participate in representatives. training and exercises. Manage enquiries bureau. Assist in developing “Tracing” mechanisms for tourists. Assist in emergency evacuation of Tourists. Red Cross Training of First Aid Relief management Participate in volunteers, response. – receipt, storage debriefings especially, First and distribution. and incident Aid; Shelter Support for reviews. Management and Health Crisis counseling. Emergency Department as Submit Response. requested. Management of reports. Tracing program. Stock piling of NEOC Operations Participate in emergency Group. Recovery supplies, e.g. Tasks as blankets, clothes, directed. cots. Reassess Public awareness needs and campaigns. restock. Joint training with Review DDM and other procedures agencies. and make any necessary Membership on changes. Emergency Committees. Participation in drills and exercises. Virgin Development of Respond in Report to relevant Islands Search and Rescue accordance with agencies Search and capability through International SAR 32 Rescue training. principles. Participate in debriefing and Participate in join incident reviews. training with DDM and other agencies. Maintain readiness for response. Source and maintain SAR equipment. Maintain appropriate SOP’s. 33 5.2 LEAD AND SUPPORT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CRITICAL PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE TASKS – LISTED BY CRITICAL TASKS TASK LEAD AGENCY SUPPORT AGENCIES Policy clarification NEAC DDM, Attorney General’s Chambers, Chief Minister’s Office, Development Planning Unit. Policy Department for Disaster All public sector agencies, in implementation Management (DDM) collaboration with NGO and private sector partners. Information Department of DDM, Governor’s Office, dissemination Information and Public Tourist Board, Chief Relations Minister’s Office and media houses. Training programmes DDM All public sector agencies, in collaboration with NGO, private sector external agencies and zonal committees CDERA and ECDG. Early Warning DDM Police, PWD, GIS and media Systems houses. Emergency DDM GIS and media houses. Broadcasts Emergency DDM Welfare Sub-committee, Stockpiles Social Development Department, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Red Cross. Warehouse DDM Ministry of Finance Management Review and Revision DDM All lead, support and partner of Plans agencies. Maintenance of Public Works DDM, Ministry of Finance, critical infrastructure Department (PWD) Private Sector partners, all facilities and lead support and partner equipment. agencies. NEOC maintenance DDM Deputy Governor’s Office, and provisioning Ministry of Finance and PWD. Simulation exercises DDM Police, Fire and Rescue, 34 Health, Civil Aviation, Ports Authority, Marine Services Unit, Red Cross, DAC and other identified partners. Scientific monitoring DDM External scientific and systems research – based monitoring entities, e.g., University of Puerto Rico, University of the West Indies and Antigua Meteorological Office. Vulnerability Hazard DDM External funding agencies and Risk and technical experts. Also Assessments Town and Country Planning, Conservation and Fisheries and PWD. Emergency DDM All On-Scene Response Telecommunications Agencies. Cable and Wireless, Telecoms. sub- committee Telephone Services Unit, Information Systems Unit and Telecommunications Unit. Support for NEAC DDM Deputy Governor’s Office and Committees and all agencies represented on Working Groups all NEAC committees. Mutual Aid DDM Governor’s Office, Deputy Agreements Governor’s Office, Chief Minister’s Office and Attorney General’s Chambers. Search and Rescue Fire and Rescue Police, health Department • Land (Hospital and Clinics) GIS, Red Cross and DDM. Search and Rescue Police Marine VISAR, Marine Services Unit, • Sea Ports Authority, Red Cross, Ferry Services, Tourist Board, Immigration, Customs, Conservation and Fisheries, media houses, DDM - External Agencies US Coast Guard, Helicopter and fixed wing air services. Damage DDM As above. Assessments Needs Prioritization EXCO DDM, EOC Operations Group, DPU, Chief Minister’s Office and Governor’s Office. 35 Essential Services Ministry of PWD and Marine Services Restoration Communications and Unit. (Operations) Works • Water Water and Sewerage Department • Electricity Electricity Corporation • Air Service Civil Aviation Beef Island Fire Service, Customs and Immigration. • Port Service Ports Authority Customs and Immigration. • Primary Health Health Department Private medical services, Red Care Cross and Environmental Health. Aid Appeals DPU DDM, CDERA, Governor’s Office, Tourist Board, Chief Minister’s Office and ECDG. Emergency DDM DAC, Red Cross, ADRA, Accommodation and Churches, Hotel and guest Shelter Manager House owners, Social Welfare Department and Ministry of Finance. Aid Management DPU DDM, CDERA, Chief logistics Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Banks, Governor’s Office and ECDG. Information GIS DDM and media houses. Dissemination Secondary Hazard Fire and Rescue Police, Conservation and Assessment Fisheries, PWD, ODP and Architects and Engineers. Precautionary Police DDM, PWD Taxi and Ferry Evacuations Operations; Red Cross, DAC: ADRA, Department of Education (for schools, etc.) Tracing Red Cross DDM; Tourist Board, Social Development, Police, Churches. Waste Disposal Solid Waste Department PWD; Environmental Health, Private contractors. Emergency Supply Ministry of Chief Minister’s Office, Arrangements Communications and Governor’s Office, Ministry of • Fuel Works Finance; Department of • Food Trade, private sector • Water suppliers, Attorney General’s • Transport Chambers. 36 Emergency Road PWD Town and Country Planning; repairs and access Lands and Survey Department. Police; Attorney General’s Chambers. Disease, vector and Department of Health Environmental Health, Solid vermin control Waste Department; PAHO. Burial of the Dead Department of Health Police, Coroner, Undertakers, PWD, Private Sector heavy equipment owners. Crowd control Police Decontamination Fire and Rescue Department of Health. Arrangements for Tourist Board Chief Minister’s Office, tourists Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, Airlines, Hotel and Guest House operators, DDM and Red Cross. Emergency repairs to PWD Ministry of Finance, Town and Government Country Planning Buildings Department. Restoration of Ministry of Electricity Corporation, Water Utilities (Policy Communications and Sewerage Department, issues) Telephone Services Unit, Cable and Wireless, PWD. Welfare Assistance DDM Red Cross, Social Development, ADRA, Ministry of Finance, PWD, DPU, Customs, Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Crisis Counseling Mental Health Social Welfare Department, Department Christian Council; other churches. Restoration of Social Ministry of Education Ministry of Health and Services and Culture. Welfare, Office of Gender Affairs. Restoration of Chief Minister’s Office Ministry of Finance – DPU, Commercial and - BVI Tourist Board Customs, Treasury, Social. Economic activities - Trade and Security Board; Financial Investment Services Commission, Promotion Registry of Companies, Ministry of Communications and Works – Civil Aviation, Ports Authority, Marine Services Unit. 37 Department of Agriculture, Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association Attorney General’s Chambers Continuity of EXCO Governor’s Office, Chief Government Minister’s Office, Deputy Administration Governor’s Office, Ministry of Finance; PWD, Human Resources Department, Public Service Association, Town and Country Planning Department; Fire and Rescue Services, Facilities Unit. 38 5.3 PRIVATE SECTOR ASSISTANCE – KEY ACTION AREAS PRIVATE SECTOR ENTITIES PROBABLE AREAS OF ASSISTANCE Media - radio, TV and print • Public Awareness, warnings and alerts • General information dissemination Heavy equipment operators and • Debris removal and road trucking services clearance Taxi Operators • Evacuations Airlines • Off Territory evacuations Hotels and guest houses • Emergency accommodations Supermarkets • Food and related supplies Pharmacies • Medical supplies Medical practices • Skilled personnel and facilities Helicopter services • Medivacs and impact assessment overflights; Search and Rescue Water suppliers and distributors • Emergency water supplies Gas stations • Emergency fuel supply management Ferry Services • Evacuations and transport of emergency personnel; Search and Rescue Cable and wireless • Telecommunications services Shipping companies • Shipping of relief and other emergency items Caterers • Emergency feeding programs Building materials suppliers • Emergency building repairs Hoteliers and Guest House operators • Emergency accommodation Architects and Engineers • Mitigation proposals and damage assessments and emergency repairs Householders and property owners • Emergency accommodation for victims and temporary government offices Printeries • Emergency guidelines - posters and bulletins 39 SECTION B 6.0 CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS 6.1 SURVEILLANCE The Department of Disaster Management has put in place a number of systems to provide (where possible) notice of impending hazard impacts or escalation of already dangerous situations. In addition, it is expected that external agencies such as the Seismic Research Units in Puerto Rico and Trinidad, The Antigua Meteorological Services and the Welkins and Impact Weather services will also provide information regarding hazards which could impact the Territory. The graded Alert and Response Schema, which has been developed for the Territory, demonstrates how such routine surveillance is converted to Alerts. It must be remembered that information about probable hazards impacts can arise from information generated from other sources, including the general public. 6.2 ALERTS This plan is based on Alerts being raised in a graded fashion according to the nature of the hazard and the perceived level of risk. Alert levels 1 – 5 reflect a gradation in which the period of notice diminishes from weeks to no notice at all. Whenever a report is received, the Department for Disaster Management (DDM) and the Lead Agency for the particular hazard will consult and confirm an Alert Level for ratification by the Deputy Governor (DG). If ratification is not possible, the Director of the DDM will make the declaration. The declaration should be communicated as expeditiously as possible to all agencies and if appropriate, disseminated to the general public and external agencies. The Lead Agency for on-scene Incident Command in many cases is the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force. The possible scenarios generated by the hazards for which this plan is written are numerous. The effects could vary from minimal to devastating. The Alert and Response Levels Schema is reproduced in detail in the Annex. It is summarized here to show how the National Plan is activated. 40 ALERT INDICATORS RESPONSE INDICATORS LEVEL LEVEL 1 Notice of a possible 1 Single localized hazard hazard impact that impact or incident could take several impacting a very small days or weeks to area or small number of become a real threat. units on land or sea. Secondary hazards or spread of impact zone unlikely. Impact will be confined to affected unit or small area. No disruption to normal life likely. 2 Warning of a possible 2 Larger area than level hazard impact which 1. Units impacted or may develop as a real threatened, greater. threat within 48 hours Lead agency and but could still be several others, involved averted. at the scene. Some disruption of normal life likely. 3 Possible hazard impact 3 Large scale incident on within 36 hours. land or sea. Large Alternatively increase number of victims or in threat from level 2. persons at risk. Likely multi-hazard impact over a wide area. NEOC activated – provisionally. 4 Impact could occur 4 NEOC fully activated or within 24 hours or less remains activated. or escalation from level Many agencies 3. involved. 5 Impact without 5 NEOC activated or precursor activity or remains fully activated. warning or appearance Risk or damage of major secondary extensive. Many hazard. persons at risk or vulnerable. External assistance necessary. 41 6.3 WARNINGS The mechanisms for providing warnings are dependent on the speed of onset of the hazard. The specific warning mechanisms are provided in the hazard specific annexes to this plan. While it is true that there will be a reliance on broadcast media for the dissemination of warnings, the timings can vary on an incident-by-incident basis and the details of each warning will have to be tailored to each specific threat. 6.4 ACTIVATION The manner in which the Plan is activated depends to a great extent on the way in which the Alert is raised. Whenever there is a long period of notice there will be sufficient time for the DIRECTOR, DISASTER MANAGEMENT to confer with agencies and decide upon the timing of the activation of the plan, i.e. Alert Levels 1 – 3. Whenever the period of notice is very short, i.e. Alert Level 5 then the Plan may be activated by the Lead Agency with a requirement to confer with the DIRECTOR, DISASTER MANAGEMENT without delay. 6.4.1 MONITORING OF INITIAL REPORT The agency receiving the initial report should ensure that the Lead Agency by Response has received the report and that the Department for Disaster Management has also been notified (if it is not the Lead Agency by Response). The Lead Agency by Response should check to make sure that all support agencies have been alerted. 7.0 PLAN EXECUTION The Execution of this Plan is based on the use of the graded Alert and Response Schema. When a report is received, an Alert Level will be promulgated among all relevant agencies and the general public for hazards that could threaten the public in general. Actions during the Alert Phases will be guided by those recommended in the Schema. When actual impact occurs then there is an automatic change from Alert to Response. 42 If there is no notice, the Plan is in fact activated by the Lead Agency by Response initiating a response and conferring with the Director of Disaster Management to promulgate an agreed Response Level among all agencies. The Lead Agency by Response and the Director of Disaster Management will confer constantly to determine whether changes should be made to the Response Level initially promulgated. More detailed guidelines are provided in the Hazard- Specific annexes. 8.0 IMMEDIATE RESPONSES The threat of a major hazard impact requires a wide range of activities from the immediate Pre-Impact phase, through a Recovery Phase. Some of these activities are highlighted below for guidance. • Confirmation of threat • Call-out cascade activation • High level briefings and SITREPS • Search and Rescue • Impact assessment • Emergency medical care • On-scene management • Emergency communications • Information dissemination and management • Damage assessment • Emergency access • Secondary hazard analysis • Essential service restoration • Security and Law enforcement 43 9.0 COORDINATION PRIORITIES Coordination presents one of the major challenges in disaster management. The subject areas shown below all require multi-agency action and hence coordination, if waste and duplication of effort are to be avoided. When the NEOC is activated, such coordination is achieved through that framework. When the NEOC is not activated, the Department for Disaster Management is the principal coordinating agency. PRIORITIES – Agency networking • Communication • Direction and leadership • Public information • Search and Rescue • External agency involvement • High level briefings, SITREPS and reports • Damage and needs assessment • Relief and Welfare management • Supply management → food, water, fuel, medicine • Primary and environmental health • Restoration of essential and support services • Logistics • Emergency medical response • Restoration of critical facilities 44 SECTION C 10.0 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES 10.1 HAZARDS NOT PLANNED FOR No contingency plan can be developed on the basis of every possible emergency. This means that some emergencies could develop in future for which there are no specific guidelines and annexes. Emergency Management officials will therefore be obliged to use knowledge, training, experience and existing plans to mount an effective response. The guidelines provided for: NEOC Operations HAZMATS The National Alert and Response Mechanism Disaster Recovery Emergency Communications Incident Command and Working with External agencies, should prove valuable in responding to any emergency not specifically planned for. 10.2 ACTIVATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE (NEOC) The decision to activate the NEOC is one of the most important in Disaster Management. It sends the signal that there is a threat of an event or an event has already occurred which requires centralized leadership, direction and control to achieve the desired level of inter-agency coordination. The NEOC is activated by the Deputy Governor in his capacity as Director of the NEOC when he is satisfied that a hazard threat, or an actual event warrants such a response. Such action is usually taken on the advice of the Director of Disaster Management. In an extreme case, where consultation with the Deputy Governor is impossible or would cause inordinate delays, the Director of Disaster Management will activate the NEOC. In the General Alert and Response Schema, the NEOC is activated at Levels 3, 4 or 5 when a general alert has been declared. In a no-notice event, the NEOC is activated from a Response Level 3 even though Pre-Activation arrangements may be made from a Level 2 stage. (See Annex for details.) 45 10.3 ASSISTANCE FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES One of the primary tasks of Disaster Response is to work with External Agencies to coordinate the flow of information in general and Situation Reports SITREPS in particular. If a hazard impact has caused significant damage, then it is likely that external agencies will send personnel as well as emergency relief and other supplies to the Territory. The Primary coordination mechanism for external assistance for CDERA participating states is the Eastern Caribbean Donors Group, an amalgamation of Aid Agencies operating out of Barbados. The Territory has a direct relationship with the British Government. The NEOC if required, should ensure that there is a clear understanding of assistance, which will be provided directly by the British Government and that which will come through CDERA. The BVI/USVI Friendship agreement also facilitates close cooperation with VITEMA in the USVI. Assistance will also be sought by non-government organizations if the need is great. Such requests should be based on clearly identified, agreed and ratified, national priorities. See the External Affairs in the Annex to this document. 10.4 DISASTER RECOVERY POLICIES – AN OUTLINE The Government of the British Virgin Islands regards the management of crises, emergencies and disasters as one of its primary responsibilities in support of the developmental objectives of saving human lives, protecting the natural environment, maintaining the social and economic infrastructure, and promoting equity and sustainable development. These policies are all clearly outlined in the National Integrated Development Strategy. Specifically, the role of Disaster Management in reducing vulnerability is clearly outlined. Government has taken the lead in promoting a comprehensive approach to Disaster Management, in which appropriate policies, strategies, structures, plans, projects programmes and resources are put in place in all phases of the Disaster Cycle to plan for, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters of all kinds. Government continues to promote the appropriate enabling environment by ensuring that relevant legislation is updated and enacted and that such institutional and organizational frameworks as are necessary, are put in place. Further, Government has already established the Disaster Recovery Fund and the appropriate management guidelines have been revised and updated to ensure effective management of the Fund during a Recovery Phase if required. It must be emphasized that the National Mitigation Strategy is an important facet of Government’s policy, which attempts to minimize the negative impacts of 46 hazards and thus reduce the challenge of Recovery from major events. The implementation of that strategy should make the task of Disaster Recovery much easier and less costly in financial terms in future. The recent officially sanctioned broadening of the mandate of the Department of Disaster Management is designed to promote more effective preparedness and operational responses at all stages of the disaster cycle. The Disaster Recovery Plan is an important companion document to this NDP. GOAL OF THE RECOVERY PLAN The goal of the Recovery Plan is to provide an official basis upon which planned and coordinated actions can be taken in support of the goal of recovery in the event of a disaster. The goal of recovery itself follows from the definition of recovery. Therefore, the goal of the National Recovery Effort is “to facilitate the recovery of affected individuals, districts, communities and the social and economic infrastructure as quickly as possible in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner”. OBJECTIVES OF THE RECOVERY PLAN 1. Identify and prioritize recovery activities. 2. Promote effective, coordinated actions among all agencies involved in the Recovery Process. 3. Promote timely decision-making and implementation in support of the goal of recovery. 4. Reduce and where possible, eliminate duplication of effort and waste of resources. 5. Suggest appropriate accounting and reporting arrangements for the Recovery process. 6. Emphasize the need for appropriate arrangements for the dissemination of public information. 7. Reduce vulnerability to hazards in the future. 8. Enhance capacity for dealing with disasters in future. 47 SECTION D HAZARD AND INCIDENT SPECIFIC ANNEXES 48 ANNEX 11.1 HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS INTRODUCTION Hurricanes, which are also called tropical cyclones, are weather disturbances, which occur over oceans and seas in tropical latitudes. The origins of these storms are not yet clearly understood but some conditions such as ocean temperatures above 26 °C (°F) are thought to be necessary. The British Virgin Islands lie within the area most likely to be affected by hurricanes and tropical storms arising in the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea. The Atlantic Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30th. The highest frequency of storms occurs between late August and the end of September. More storms have arisen on September 10 than on any other date. Storms have been known to occur outside the official hurricane season or travel from west to east instead of the far more common, east to west. “Tropical cyclone systems are large, non-frontal low pressure, circulatory weather systems that develop over tropical waters, in regions known as tropical cyclone basins. The life of a hurricane begins when moist warmer air carried by the easterly trade winds form a tropical atmospheric inversion. When the system becomes an organized circulatory system, it is called a tropical depression. If it develops and sustained wind velocity exceeds 39 miles per hour (mph), it is called a tropical storm and is given a name. When sustained winds exceed 74 miles per hour, it is called a hurricane. At this stage, the system has a large well-defined circulating spiral of clouds and a small central region of low pressure called the eye. This is a region of low wind speed; little rain and cloud cover with an average diameter of 30 to 50 miles. Adjacent to the eye, is found a dense wall of clouds, called the eye wall, with adjoining bands which spiral out for distances up to 135 miles from the Centre. The highest winds and rainfall are located within the eye wall. Hurricanes are classified by their level of intensity, which reflect the damage causing potential. The five categories according to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale are shown below:- 49 SAFFIR SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE SUSTAINED EYE STORM DAMAGE DAMAGE PATTERNS CATEGORY WINDS PRESSURE SURGE IN LEVEL FEET 1 74-94 980 4.0-4.9 Low Little damage to Millibars structures, mostly shrubbery, foliage and signs. 2 96-110 965-979 5.9-7.9 Moderate Some roof damage likely. Extensive damage to vegetation. Significant costal damage. 3 111-130 945-964 8.9-18.0 Extensive Structural damage to small buildings. Extensive coastal damage. 4 131-155 920-944 13.0-18.0 Extreme Extensive roof damage. Complete roof failure common. Massive coastal damage. 5 > 155 > 920 > 18.0 Catastroph Complete roof failure ic common. Extensive shattering of glass. Complete destruction of small timber houses. Structural damage common. Massive damage to vegetation. Widespread devastation in all sectors. The BVI has been affected by many tropical cyclone systems including tropical storms and hurricanes. A notable example was the hurricane of 1867. Hurricane Donna in 1960 and Hurricane Hugo in 1989, both category 4 hurricanes, caused significant damage to housing, telecommunications and infrastructure. The damage from Hugo was estimated as being greater than government recurrent expenditure for that year.” 1 The BVI has had encounters with other hurricanes during the last decade; these include Luis and Marilyn in 1995, Jose and Lenny in 1999 and Debbie in 2000 (which was a minimal hurricane). 1 Extracted from the Disaster Digest of March 2000. 50 The Hazard and Risk Assessment Report describes hurricanes as one of the most significant hazards to which the BVI is exposed: HAZARD CHARACTERISTICS AND EFFECTS A hurricane can combine storm surge, powerful winds and torrential rains into a devastating combination. STORM SURGE Storm surge is an abnormal rise in sea level 50 to 100 miles wide that sweeps across the coast near where the “eye” of the hurricane makes landfall. The surge of high water topped by waves, can be devastating. Along the coast, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property. WINDS Hurricane force winds of 74 m.p.h. or greater can destroy buildings. Debris can become flying missiles in hurricanes. Winds often stay above hurricane strength well inland. Winds have much higher velocities on hilltops than on the coast. HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODS Rains associated with hurricanes and tropical storms can produce persistent and or torrential rainfall for many hours. Rainfall amounts in excess of 10 inches in 24 hrs have occurred. The associated flooding often becomes a significant hazard. Hurricanes and tropical storms can result in death, damage, destruction, displacement of people and disruption of services. Typical effects include:- - Direct damage to buildings and other structures from violent winds and flood waters. - Deaths caused by storm surge or floodwaters. - Inundation of buildings and fields by floodwaters. - Extensive damage to the terrestrial environment by uprooting of trees, defoliation and breaking of branches. - Extensive damage to the marine environment by the impact of storm surge, violent seas and accelerated beach erosion. - Destruction of critical facilities such as ports, airports, hospitals, schools. - Contamination of water sources and distribution systems. - Extensive damage to utility systems and the road network. Hurricanes can give rise to a host of public health concerns after impact. These include transmission of disease through contaminated water, breakdowns in sewerage systems and increased transmission of vector borne diseases. Inadequate disposal of solid waste and excessive spoilage of food through poor storage conditions are other common problems. 51 IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT The nature of hurricanes is such that a major event would have significant negative implications for the Territory. These include: Suspension of visitor arrivals A contraction of the tourism sector in general Disruption of trading and other economic activities Disruption of government services Increased government expenditure for repairs and replacements Suspension of capital (infrastructural) projects Short-term deterioration in utility and other services Negative publicity overseas Short-term increase in unemployment Capital flight Suspension of private sector investment decisions Negative publicity overseas Social dislocation SPECIFIC RISK AND VULNERABILITIES The BVI’s vulnerability to hurricanes begins with its location i.e. latitude and longitude. Its northeast Caribbean location puts the Territory well within the zone frequented by tropical storms and hurricanes arising in the Atlantic. The Territory is also vulnerable because of its small size and related lack of “redundancy” in critical infrastructure. There is only one general hospital, one municipal incinerator, a single Central Administrative Complex. There are concerns that some buildings historically designated as shelters may not be robust enough to resist hurricanes. The relative isolation of the Sister Islands from emergency medical facilities in Tortola constitute another concern in terms of vulnerability. Anegada’s low-lying nature suggests a high level of vulnerability to both storm surges and flooding in a hurricane. 52 One major area of concern is the high proportion of the population living in apartment buildings. This means that extensive damage to roofs (if it occurred) could result in a large number of people requiring emergency accommodation. The BVI is one of the major marine pleasure-craft centres in the Caribbean. Existing marine shelters cannot accommodate the entire fleet of pleasure- craft likely to be present in BVI waters at anytime. It is possible that scores of vessels would suffer extensive damage during a major hurricane. Damage could also be extensive at marinas and jetties and related dockside facilities. MITIGATION STRATEGIES The multifaceted nature of hurricanes means that mitigation strategies will be varied and wide-ranging. The Mitigation and Development Planning Framework for the BVI, encompasses many suggestions which are identified below, merely to highlight the range of possibilities, not to present a comprehensive guide: • Including hurricane mitigation concerns in legislation. • Risk-zoning incorporated in physical development plans. • Development of policies for land use in high risk areas. • Vulnerability assessments of public buildings and critical infrastructure. • Vulnerability analyses to be included as part of Environmental Assessments and where necessary, mitigation measures incorporated in the design and execution of the affected projects. • Critical facilities constructed in line with building codes. • Protection or retrofitting of buildings by the use of hurricane shutters. • Incentive programs for the private sector and homeowners to install hurricane shelters – as have been done. • Locate new public buildings and other critical facilities in less vulnerable locations. • Develop and execute enforcement mechanisms for environmental protection. • Construct sea defence structures. • Construct flood control structures in vulnerable areas. • Develop hazard and risk maps. • Develop a strategic all-hazard awareness, training and education plan. 53 • Ensure that training institutions are provided with information with regard to hazards of the BVI. • Promote involvement in community disaster management by social and community organizations through sensitization lectures, development and implementation of memoranda of understanding to facilitate working relationships. Continuous updating of their disaster awareness and response capacity through their participation in the community disaster management process. PREPARDNESS PRIORITIES The multi-hazard nature of hurricanes and the persistence of the threat require the Territory to execute a wide range of Preparedness activities. Those identified below are intended as a guide for planning purposes. Mechanisms to access reliable meteorological information. Access to official meteorological warnings advisories etc. Public awareness programs about hurricanes – multi-media approach. Training programmes for emergency personnel, volunteers and community representatives. Early warning systems such as sirens and emergency broadcast arrangements. Stockpiles of emergency supplies and associated warehouse management systems. Maintenance of critical infrastructure facilities and equipment e.g. buildings, roads, culverts, drains, utility distribution systems. Maintenance and resourcing of the NEOC and subsidiary EOC’s. Simulation exercises at all levels from orientations to full-field exercises. Detailed risk and vulnerability assessments. Establishment and maintenance of emergency telecommunications systems. Mutual aid agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s). Identification, maintenance and resourcing of emergency shelters. 54 Updating of internal agency plans for key agencies. Ensuring that 24 hr contact information is up-to-date. Relief management systems such as FUNDE SUMA. Promoting the national graded Alert and Warning system. Aid management procedures and logistics. Clarification of procedures and priorities for post-event Response. Promotion of Response capacity at community level. Hurricane Preparedness also requires that a wide range of plans be developed and kept current. These include:- National Preparedness and Response Plan National Emergency Operations Centre – NEOC Plan Disaster Recovery Plan Subject matter plans o Communication o Evacuation o Shelter o Public Information o Relief and Welfare o Counseling o Mass Casualty o Search and Rescue o Marine Incident o Aviation Incident o Health o Marine Pollution o HAZMAT Plans for major economic sectors o Tourism o Financial Services o Environment o Agriculture Community Committees and Non-Government Organizations e.g. Zonal Committees, Red Cross, VISAR, ADRA, Rotary, Disaster Auxiliary Corps Private Sector Plans Lead and Support Agency Plans e.g. Police, Fire & Rescue, Health Sector, Marine Services Unit SCENARIOS One of the major challenges of responding to the threat of hurricanes is the remarkable variability in behaviour and characteristics. Further, the same hurricane 55 can display different characteristics during its life. Some hurricanes are huge – covering hundreds of square miles, others are much more compact. Some hurricanes travel at speeds of 20 miles per hour or greater, while others may travel at far slower speeds. Some hurricanes have been known to remain stationary for almost 24 hrs. Some hurricanes follow comparatively well-projected tracks, while others appear to “zigzag” across the ocean. In some cases, the heaviest rains do not come with the strongest hurricanes but with minimal storms or depressions. Occasionally, hurricanes travel almost due west while others make a sharp turn to the north. It is clear from what has been described above, that the permutations of scenarios which can arise from hurricanes and tropical storms is enormous and this variability must be catered for in the planning process. Constant vigilance is required when a hurricane is approaching the Territory. RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead by mandate: Department of Disaster Management Overall coordination: Department of Disaster Management Lead for on-scene Response: RVI Police Force Incident command: RVI Police Force ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES A breakdown of roles and responsibilities for lead and support agencies is provided as part of the Preparedness and Response Plan. That list will not be reproduced here. However, there are many tasks, which are important for effective hurricane Preparedness, and Response, which must be carried out by the Department of Disaster Management. The most significant are listed here. All agencies are expected to serve as required on NEAC and other standing or ad hoc committees, participate in training and exercises and take the lead in updating their own agency – level plans. 56 CRITICAL HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE TASKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT PREPAREDNESS RESPONSE Alerts Impact assessments Public awareness programs Detailed damage assessments Training for staff; volunteers and Needs prioritization personnel of other agencies Briefings for NEAC Chairman, HE the Updating of plans and procedures Governor and EXCO Maintenance of emergency supplies SITREPS and other reports to regional and other organizations Maintenance of emergency Communications network Implementation of NEOC Plan if necessary Maintenance of early warning Coordination of information dissemination systems including the NEBS Management of emergency Mutual aid agreements and MOU’s telecommunications Coordinating exercises Aids appeals Maintenance and provisioning of the Emergency accommodated and shelter NEOC management Maintenance of Resource-Centre Emergency supply arrangements for water, and databases food, fuel, transport Deployment of shelter supplies and Emergency response logistics equipment Coordination of evacuation strategies Development of Zonal and Community committees Coordination of public service announcements Participate in regional and international initiatives CDERA, Management of emergency aid NEMOT, OFDA, PAHO ETC. Tracking emergency supplies e.g. FUNDE Mobilization of personnel SUMA system 57 ROUTINE MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS The Department of Disaster Management takes the lead in monitoring meteorological sources for information on weather disturbances. There are many sources of information available. These include: The Antigua Meteorological Office, which is the official station for the Leeward and British Virgin Islands. The Meteorological Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico Weather Services such as Impact Weather of Wilkins Weather Local and regional radio and T.V. stations Internet sources such as Hurricane Central The Caribbean Weather Centre – based in Tortola The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) updates SURVEILLANCE During the hurricane season, the Department of Disaster Management will pay close attention to any weather disturbance that could threaten the BVI. Internal arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the Director of Disaster Management has access to the most up to date information on weather disturbances. Such arrangements are detailed in the Department’s guidelines for hurricane preparedness. RESPONSE GUIDELINES ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS When it is clear that a disturbance such as a tropical storm or hurricane could threaten the Territory, the national response system must be activated. It must be stressed that the national response system involves action by a host of government departments, statutory organizations, the private sector, volunteer and community- based organizations. The coordination of such actions becomes a major challenge in the face of a hurricane threat. The Department of Disaster Management has a pivotal role to play in coordinating interagency action. The fact remains that the DDM does not have administrative authority over the other units so it must rely on compliance and cooperation. 58 ALERT SCHEMA The guidelines shown below are based on the National Alert Schema in which there are 5 levels of alert. It must be remembered that time frames are only a guideline and decisions must be based on the reality of the threat as it unfolds, rather than a rigid adherence to time-frames. Tropical storms and hurricanes tend to intensify from beginnings as depressions and grow to become storms and subsequently hurricanes. It is possible though, that a depression can be upgraded to a hurricane without first being classified as a storm. This is so because bulletins are produce at six-hourly intervals. Rapid development of a depression in the interim could see it change status from one bulletin to the next. The time frames in the National Alert Schema are harmonized with those for hurricanes and tropical storms i.e. 48 hrs, 36 hrs and 24 hrs in terms of the Watches and Warnings, which will be used by the Meteorological Authority. PUBLIC WARNINGS Ensuring that the public is aware of a hurricane or storm threat to the Territory is a very important task. The Department of Disaster Management will work with the GIS and local radio and TV stations to ensure that reliable updated information is relayed to the public on a timely basis. A major challenge lies in the fact that many persons will source weather information directly from the Internet or the Weather Channel. Such information may not coincide exactly with the information disseminated by the official meteorological service for the BVI – the Antigua Met Office. Cognizance must be taken also of the fact that residents will have access to radio and T.V. stations airing weather information specifically for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Every effort must be made to ensure that BVI residents and visitors are not confused. There must always be clarity with regard to “official” statements with reference to the BVI. CALL OUT ARRANGEMENTS Generally speaking, hurricanes and tropical storms allow time for phased call- outs. The Department of Disaster Management would ensure that the following are kept abreast of any developments and updated as new information comes to hand. It may be necessary to draw up a call-up cascade each season, using the Emergency contact list as a guide. Deputy Governor – NEOC Director HE the Governor Hon. Chief Minister Ministers of Government 59 Other members of the Legislative Council Members of the Emergency Operations Group Department of Disaster Management Sister Islands – District Officers and Committees Staff and auxiliary personnel Disaster Auxiliary Corps Royal Virgin Islands Police Force Fire and Rescue Services The Hospital Civil Aviation Department Public Works Department The Red Cross Zonal and Community Committees and Zone Coordinators Information and Public Relations Department (GIS) Social Development Department Media houses (including print media) Department of Human Resources Port Authority and Marine Services Unit BVI Electricity Corporation BVI Tourist Board Water and Sewerage Department Environmental Health All Ministries of Government Virgin Islands Search and Rescue Regional Organizations and Neighbouring Agencies CDERA, PAHO, VITEMA, OFDA Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association It is not necessary for the Department of Disaster Management staff to make all these calls directly, what is important is the Director of the Department is satisfied that arrangements are in place to constantly update these key agencies. For example, the Department of Human Resources could be requested to inform all 60 Ministries and Government Departments; the Red Cross could be requested to interface with voluntary, service and community-based organizations. ALERT SCHEMA ALERTS AND WARNINGS Standardized official categories of alert and warnings have been developed for hurricanes and storms. These are:- TROPICAL STORM ALERT Storm impact or storm conditions (34-74 mph) likely within 48 hrs. TROPICAL STORM WATCH Storm impact or conditions likely within 36 hrs. TROPICAL STORM WARNING Storm impact or conditions likely within 24 hrs. HURRICANE ALERT Hurricane impact or conditions likely within 48 hrs (sustained winds of at least 74 mph) HURRICANE WATCH Hurricane impact or conditions likely within 36 hrs. HURRICANE WARNING Hurricane impact or conditions likely within 24 hrs. The relationship between the National Alert Schema and hurricane and tropical storm alerts and warnings is show below. NATIONAL NATIONAL ALERT LEVEL HURRICANE OR STORM ALERT LEVEL INDICATORS WARNING LEVEL 1 Hurricane or storm threat Bulletin issued several days away from possible impact. No immediate concerns over size or intensity. 2 Hurricane or storm conditions Hurricane or storm Advisory possible within 48 hrs. Close issued attention being paid to size, intensity and likely track of system as it moves toward the 61 BVI 3 Hurricane or storm Watch Hurricane or storm conditions issued could develop within 36 hrs. Careful attention being paid to size, intensity and likely track of the system. If impact does occur, it could be severe. 4 Hurricane or storm conditions Hurricane or storm Warning now appear very likely within issued 24 hrs. System now being very closely monitored as impact 5 seems likely. General National Alert Hurricane or storm impact only hours (six or less away) or a potentially devastating event still at least 24 hrs away. PHASED RESPONSE PRIORITIES The development of a tropical disturbance or hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea does not mean that the BVI is immediately under threat. In fact, even if the Territory is put under a Hurricane or Storm Warning (24 hrs before hurricane conditions appear) it still does not mean that impact is inevitable, since hurricanes and storms can change course or dissipate. However, given the range of tasks which must be executed to promote readiness for an impact, and the time required, prudence dictates that actions escalate over a period of 2 or 3 days in the event that impact is inescapable or inevitable. It must also be remembered that for practical purposes, nighttime hours should be subtracted from any projection of a probable impact time; when it comes to preparation for an event. The public service also has to accept the reality that most government departments are closed on the weekend. It may therefore be necessary under some circumstances, to bring forward preparations rather than wait for the announcement of a Hurricane Warning, since by the time such a pronouncement is made, there may no longer be enough lead time to complete necessary preparations. A series of actions are set out below to coincide with the lead-up phases to a possible impact, from advisory through warning stages. The National Alert Levels have been aligned with the Official Hurricane alerts for ease of comprehension. It must be stressed that the suggested actions build on each other. The actions, which are recommended at Alert level 5, are based on the assumption that 62 actions have taken place through Levels 1 to 4. This means that the National Response System would be severely challenged if the alert level suddenly had to move from 1 to 5. The suggested actions do not detail those that should be executed by all Key Agencies. All agencies will be expected to use this framework as a guide for their internal plans for hurricane response. ACTION TO BE TAKEN AT ALERT LEVEL 1 SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE ONSET OF HURRICANE CONDITIONS LEVEL 1, BULLETIN 1 Level 1 Alert declared among agencies DDM to continue monitoring weather reports and meteorological releases DDM to liaise with all relevant local and external agencies ensuring a common understanding of the situation, especially key local response agencies OFDA, CDERA and PAHO. Public advised to listen to weather reports DDM to ensure constant flow of information to District Officers and Zone Coordinators in the Sister Islands. Liaise with Airport Authorities Sister Island Committees to convene and implement plans. Hospital to conduct preliminary readiness checks. Hospital to alert Sister Islands and Zonal Health Centres. DDM to liaise with Tourist Board to consider welfare of tourist and visitors. Private sector requested to report levels of stocks of essential supplies – food, fuel, water, medicines and emergency auxiliaries such as batteries. All key personnel to advise on questions of availability. Public Works, Police, Fire and other key Response agencies conduct general readiness assessments. 63 ACTION TO BE TAKEN AT ALERT LEVEL 2 – HURRICANE ADVISORY ALERT LEVEL 2 – HURRICANE ADVISORY 48 hrs Alert Level 2 declared among agencies and public National Emergency Executive Committee to meet to assess state of preparedness Deputy Governor to constantly update HE the Governor and other members of EXCO DDM to ensure that all relevant local and external agencies are aware of the level 2 Alert All agencies to refer to and activate where appropriate, internal agency plans and guidelines. NGO’s and Community Organizations to initiate procedures. Key personnel to remain within telecom and or phone contact. HE the Governor and HCM to determine whether EXCO should be convened. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to discuss preparedness HE the Governor, Director of NEOC to confer as required Director of Disaster Management to brief Director EOC as required Deputy Governor to issue directives to public service as required. Emergency stocks and supplies assessed. Civil Aviation Dept to brief airlines and airport staff. DDM ensure Zonal Committees are aware of the situation. Tourist Board to work with property owners and airlines to promote and execute voluntary off-Territory evacuation of tourists. DDM to conduct preliminary shelter readiness checks. All volunteers and auxiliary personnel put on standby e.g. Disaster Auxiliary Corps and Zonal Committees. Advisories to marine sector continue. Marine Services Unit to initiate sheltering of marine craft. Utility organizations to implement procedures for hurricane or tropical storm preparedness. 64 Public Works to preposition specialist plant in accordance with procedures. DDM to initiate discussions with broadcast houses on emergency broadcast programming and scheduling. DDM to test Emergency Broadcast Systems (NEBS). DDM to activate internal plan in readiness for activation of the NEOC. DDM to arrange any urgent purchases required for NEOC operations. Full-scale NEOC readiness checks executed. All NEOC Response Committees to do readiness checks. GIS to set up schedule with DDM for information dissemination. All agencies to review and activate MOU’s – if necessary with operating partners. All agencies to assess and establish manpower rosters. Test Telecoms Network and siren system. Activate DDM internal plan. Broadcasts tailored for particular sectors to begin e.g. homeowners, farmers, fishermen, tourists and visitors, business and commercial sector. Governor’s Office to establish briefing schedule with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Governor’s Office to ensure Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD) of the Department for International Development (DFID) are being kept abreast of the local situation. DDM to establish contact with Amateur Radio league. Roster developed for manning of Communication Centre (Radio Room). Chairpersons of NEAC sub-committees to assume responsibility for the execution of their mandates. Heads of agencies with special populations such as hospital patients, prisoners, aged and infirm persons to initiate contingency arrangements. 65 ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN 36 hrs before onset of hurricane conditions AT ALERT LEVEL 3 – HURRICANE WATCH Alert level 3 declared among agencies and public. NEOC partially activated and EOC SOP’s followed CDERA informed Director to provide regular briefings to HE the Governor and Hon. Chief Minister Full scale readiness check of NEOC executed by Director of EOC. Vehicles to be surrendered to central control or allocated to other agencies to be checked by parent agencies. All key response agencies – Police, Fire and Rescue, Hospital and Health Service to ensure appropriate arrangements in place in accordance with agency plans. Ministry of Finance to ensure procedures in place for emergency spending if required before and after event. Fire and Rescue to prepare facility at headquarters as a back-up NEOC if required. Marine Service Unit and Port Authority to ensure relevant information disseminated to marine sector continuously. Hurricane watch flags raised at all ports. Activate siren system. Issue Marine Advisory. 66 ACTION TO BE TAKEN AT ALERT LEVEL 4 ALERT LEVEL 4 – HURRICANE WARNING 24 hrs. Alert level 4 declared among agencies and the public. NEOC fully activated and manned. All agencies to expedite completion of preparedness activities. All agencies to implement internal agency plans Precautionary evacuations to be executed of low-lying or other vulnerable areas. Persons with special needs to be evacuated to robust shelter either at community level or institutional level. DDM to fully activate shelters and deploy shelter management teams. DDM to deploy Disaster Auxiliary Corps (DAC) members and all other auxiliary or volunteer personnel. Government services to be curtailed or closed down in accordance with directives from EXCO or HE the Governor. All volunteer agencies to activate internal agency plans in consultation with DDM e.g. DAC, Red Cross, ADRA etc. Water and Sewerage Dept. to ensure storage of emergency supplies of water. DDM to ensure support arrangements in place for NEOC operations. Targeted vehicles surrendered to central control or delivered to appropriate locations. Civil Aviation Dept. to work with NEOC regarding operations and closure of airports. Marine Services Unit and Ports Authority to work with NEOC regarding operations and closure of ports. DDM and GIS to work with agencies and broadcast houses to intensify warning and advisory information. DDM to test radio, telephone and satellite phone communications with Sister Islands. Hurricane Warning flags raised at all port. 67 Activation of NEBS. Issue Marine Warnings messages Tracing system and casualty bureau to be set up. Tourist Board, DDM and GIS to set up information hotline. HE the Governor and Hon. Chief Minister to determine whether Emergency Powers should be invoked. ALERT LEVEL 5 - GENERAL NATIONAL ALERT It is inadvisable to wait for the final hours (6 hours) before a probable hurricane or storm impact to attempt to execute major national level tasks. This is so because difficult weather conditions such as gale – force winds, choppy seas and persistent rain, can precede a hurricane for a distance of several hundred miles. It is crucial therefore that by the time hurricane conditions set in, all major Preparedness tasks have been executed. During the final hours before probable impact, one of the most important decisions is the manning of the NEOC during the passage of the storm and immediately after. The Director of the NEOC and the Director of Disaster Management should come to a clear decision as to the composition of the duty team to ride out the storm. If it is decided that the full Operations Group will ride out the storm at the NEOC, then there is a danger that that Group could be “burnt out” by the time the Immediate Response Phase begins, after impact. On the other hand, if there is a chance that some key officials could experience great difficulty in getting to the NEOC immediately after the storm, then it is wise to have them ride out the storm at the NEOC. There must be sufficient manpower at the NEOC to ensure the following, in the final hours leading up to probable impact:- - Formal leadership of the NEOC - Proficient front-door and telephone receptionist service - Full management of all emergency communications systems - Personnel for the maintenance and operation of the message handling and briefing systems - A media liaison person in place - All Operations Group represented at the requisite level or seniority - Management of welfare and related personnel issues. 68 DURING THE HURRICANE OR STORM All agencies should make efforts to ensure that staff and volunteers not required for emergency responses, can be released with enough lead-time to preclude them being exposed to great danger. Staff required for emergency responses, should be in place in secure circumstances with enough survival supplies to “ride out” the event. Survival advice given to the general public should be heeded by personnel and volunteers of all agencies. The protection of the lives of their dependents, relatives, charges and themselves, is paramount. Personnel from all agencies who have radios, pagers and cell phones, should keep them secure. Everyone should remember that normal telephone service could be disrupted during a hurricane or a storm. Mains electricity will be interrupted. Communication devices should be used only for essential traffic during a hurricane or storm. The Director of the NEOC should ensure that during the hurricane or storm, the NEOC is able to build a picture of what is taking place throughout the Territory through communication among key agencies and the Sister Islands. Such information should be systematically recorded so that is possible to provide comprehensive briefings to HE the Governor, Hon Chief Minister and Ministers of Government who will most likely not “ride-out” the hurricane or storm at the NEOC. Further, the CDERA Coordinating Unit will also expect a steady flow of situation Reports (SITREPS) to determine the level and kind of assistance which may be required after the event. Great care should be exercised in disseminating information to the public during the impact-phase of a hurricane or storm. It is almost impossible to correct erroneous information after it has been released. It is vital therefore that information of global significance such as deaths or casualties and numbers of persons affected, is not promulgated unless the facts substantiate initial reports. 69 IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE PASSAGE OF A HURRICANE OF STORM The Director of the NEOC, will ensure during the storm, that the NEOC can execute its functions immediately after the passage of the hurricane or Storm. One of the first challenges is determining at what time the ALL CLEAR can be issued. The declaration of the ALL CLEAR, is critical, in that it signals the time at which Response Agency personnel can begin post-event activities without facing primary hazards from the hurricane or storm. It must be stressed that the passage of a hurricane or storm will generate a whole host of secondary hazards. It is important that the general public DOES NOT ASSUME THAT THE ALL CLEAR means ALL IS WELL or that it is safe for the public to immediately resume normal activities. It is especially important that the public be advised against sight- seeing immediately after an event since they will impede Response activities but may also be putting themselves at risk. The precise nature of the activities and tasks to be executed immediately after a hurricane or storm will depend on the effects of the system i.e. whether it was a minimal hurricane passing at rapid speed or a major hurricane which passed slowly over or near the Territory with devastating consequences. The Director of the NEOC will continue to manage the Immediate Response Phase until it is clear that the NEOC can be stood down or the NEOC hands over the Recovery effort to the Recovery Task Force. The degree and nature of damage sustained, will influence the nature of the decisions taken and the timing of those decisions. PRIORTY ACTIONS – IMMEDIATE RESPONSE PHASE Many of the actions listed below, may have to be carried out simultaneously or in very close sequence. The list is not intended as a checklist for individual agencies but as a guide to national – level response actions. (NOTE The NEOC SOP’s has a more detailed breakdown) o Announcement of All Clear o Preliminary impact assessments in all sectors o Assessment of any damage to the NEOC and associated facilities o Reports of the situation in the Sister Islands o Status, location and availability of key personnel in all agencies 70 o Search and Rescue response o Emergency medical response o Evacuation management if necessary o Briefings with HE the Governor, Hon Chief Minister and ExCo o Dissemination of warning and advisory information o Arrangements for MEDIVAC and external medical assistance – (if required) o Restoration of utility services to key facilities – e.g. hospital, airports, sea ports, police stations, clinics etc. o Secondary or new hazards and risks o Status of Territory – wide emergency communications systems o Welfare of the population in general o Whether local or national disaster declarations will have to be made o Maintenance of contact with CDERA and other External agencies o Preliminary impact assessment of marine and tourism facilities o Tracing of persons affected by the event o Emergency road access and attendant debris removal o Primary health care concerns o Status of special populations such as hospital patients, aged-infirmed persons and prisoners o Security and law enforcement arrangements o Supply arrangements for:- water food fuel building materials o Emergency repairs to critical facilities o Arrangements for identification and burial of the dead if necessary o Duty rosters for key emergency responses o He the Governor, Hon Chief Minister to determine whether Emergency Powers should be invoked after appropriate consultations. 71 GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT DIRECTION AND LEADERSHIP When the NEOC is activated in advance of a hurricane or storm event, centralized direction and leadership are clearly established. Prior to NEOC activation, it is important that all agencies recognize the pivotal role played by the Department of Disaster Management in preparing for hurricanes. It must be stressed that hurricane preparedness requires a vast array of actions many of which must be executed by agencies, departments and organizations other than the Department of Disaster Management. Heads of all such entities must take full responsibility for ensuring that their individual agency mandates are fully executed. Action though, must not be taken in isolation, the Department of Disaster Management must be facilitated and supported in the execution of its role as the coordinating agency. COMMUNICATION The principles, procedures and guidelines established under the National Disaster and Response Plan and the Emergency Communications Plan, will of necessity, govern communications in the face of a hurricane or storm threat. Those guidelines must always be followed. It must be remembered that a major hurricane impact could decimate normal communication channels. The NEOC in those circumstances may have to provide the necessary leadership to promote a rapid re- establishment of communications. PUBLIC INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Meteorologists have standardized and classified the kind of information provided to the public about hurricanes and storms. They grade from less urgent to most urgent, on the basis of lead-time:- ADVISORY: An alert issued at regular intervals when a severe weather condition is in the area. BULLETIN: An alert issued when a significant weather condition is imminent HURRICANE OR STORM WATCH: An alert issued when hurricane or storm conditions become a possible threat within a specified time – usually 36 hrs. HURRICANE OR STORM WARNING: An alert issued when hurricane or storm conditions are expected within 24 hrs. It is important that the public understands these terms and the closely associated National Alert Levels. It is especially important that the public 72 understands that at Alert Level 5, a hurricane or storm impact is only hours away and could be devastating. It is vital that officially designated, accurate meteorological information reaches the public – ideally through all media houses simultaneously, with repeat broadcasts as necessary. A system should be established to ensure that there is no delay in broadcasting updated weather information. It is assumed that the “automatic cut- in” facility of the National Emergency Broadcast System (NEBS) will not be used except in extreme cases. A record should be kept of all releases issued to the public and the time at which such releases were aired. This will assist in answering queries from the public. A summary of the information aired should be kept by the Receptionist at the Department of Disaster Management so that persons who call for clarification can be assisted immediately. The Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS), should ensure that all plans and procedures for the dissemination of information have been jointly developed with the Department of Disaster Management to eliminate the possibility of role conflict or duplication of effort. EMERGENCY ACCOMODATION AND SHELTER A major hurricane can severely damage homes, apartment buildings, hotels and other places of accommodation. It is obvious that arrangements for emergency accommodation must be standing arrangements since time is of the essence in providing emergency accommodation. One of the peculiar challenges which the Territory faces is the relatively high proportion of tourists and other visitors. As far as possible, the strategy should be to try to evacuate tourists and visitors before an event. After an event, the strategy should be to facilitate their speedy departure. The private sector must work closely with the lead public sector agencies especially the Tourist Board. Procedures should be laid down with regard to emergency accommodation for tourists. The use of traditional emergency shelters could set up a major management challenge if residents in an area require shelter but shelters have already been occupied to their limit by tourists. In the aftermath of an event, relatives and friends should be encouraged to provide accommodation for those who need it. Recent experience with “Tent cities” in the Caribbean, indicate that such “cities” create a host of management and social problems. 73 Accurate assessments of persons in dire need of emergency shelter are critical for planning an emergency accommodation response. Further, information such as usual address, age, gender, special needs and family situation, can influence the kinds of arrangements which must be put in place. Homes which can be made habitable after temporary repairs or by the use of temporary roofing such as plastic sheeting, constitute a major resource in emergency accommodations and should receive high priority. It may be necessary depending on circumstances, to convert some facilities not previously designated “emergency shelters” to that purpose, after an event. It will be necessary to put in place all the arrangements for the effective management of such “new shelters”. Efforts should be made to minimize the time required for people to remain in emergency shelters. The management of long-term shelters is very different from short-term shelters. If officials do not exercise careful planning, short-term shelters can easily transform themselves into long-term shelters before the appropriate management arrangements have been put in place. IMPACT ASSESSMENTS A major hurricane or storm event, can lead to widespread damage, disruption, dislocation and displacement. It is desirable for the EOC and other key agencies to get a quick but generally accurate impression of what has occurred. This is necessary for proper decision making. It is important that information which is being collated for initial assessments, come from reputable sources and are attributable to their source. Information which comes from District Officers and zone Chairmen throughout the Territory in the Sister Islands, Police Officers, Nurses, Ministers of Religion, Heads of Voluntary organizations, Senior Public Officials and leading private sector officials is particularly valuable. The NEOC should determine whether it necessary to conduct initial aerial surveys. If that is agreed, it will be particularly useful if videos and still photographs can be taken to assist in the accuracy of descriptions and reports. It must be stressed that while Initial Impact Assessments will ultimately grade into more detailed Damage Assessments, initial surveys must be prompt. NOTE: The Damage Assessment Committee of the NEAC already has guidelines for Damage Assessment which will not be reproduced here. DEBRIEFING Much of the information which will be used for initial reports and After-Action reports will come from a wide variety of sources. It is important that heads of 74 agencies who may be submitting any information to the NEOC satisfy themselves, not only of the timeliness of the reports but also of the accuracy. It may be necessary to debrief selected individuals to ensure the authenticity of the information provided earlier. RESTORATION OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND CRITICAL FACILITIES Rapid restoration of essential services such as medical, utilities and external transport services constitute one of the most important tasks of the Immediate Response phase of a hurricane or storm event. Decisions should be made on the basis of an accurate assessment of needs and a clear delineation of priorities. It may not be possible to have services such as electricity, water and telephones reconnected at the same time. It may be necessary to perform emergency road repairs before attempts are made to restore essential services. Centralized decision-making on priorities, is required, if confusion and frustration are to be avoided. The prioritization of needs in the Sister Islands must form an integral part of such centralized decision-making. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES Major hurricane or tropical storm events, could give rise to a host of special circumstances. MASS CASUALTY It is possible that an event could produce large numbers of casualties and a higher than usual (i.e. above normal death rate) number of deaths. It is likely in such circumstances that Medical Evacuation could be required. One of the realities is that most hurricanes travel from east to west. This means that Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands could experience hurricane conditions after the BVI. Further, if devastation there was greater than in the BVI, their capacity to assist could be greatly reduced. These challenges should be catered for in the National Health Sector Emergency Management Plan. INVOLVEMENT OF EXTERNAL AGENCIES If a disaster were to be declared, even at local level, it is likely that a wide range of External Agencies would become involved in the Territory’s response efforts. Foremost among them are CDERA and the Eastern Caribbean Donors group, including OFDA and PAHO, the British Government through a variety of 75 agencies and Non-governmental Organizations such as the Red Cross and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Mechanisms must be established to ensure that local officials are in a position to coordinate all external agency activities, provide consistent briefings and ensure that duplication of effort is avoided. While the NEOC remains activated the necessary control can be exercised. A difficulty could arise if the NEOC is deactivated but a Recovery Task Force is not activated. The responsibilities for coordinating the work of such agencies in that situation will fall to the Director of Disaster Management. NOTE: More details are provided in the annex in the “External Affairs Plan”. SUPPLY SHORTAGES A major hurricane or storm event could result at least temporarily, in a shortage of critical supplies such as food, bottled water, medicines and petroleum- based fuels. The situation should be carefully assessed and a determination made whether there is a necessity to invoke emergency powers with regard to such supplies. It must also be remembered that price increases in the aftermath of a disaster are common. Strategic, regular discussions with private sector organizations and suppliers could result in agreements which could ameliorate the difficulty. STANDING DOWN PROCEDURES (DEACTIVATION OF THE NEOC) When the NEOC Director is satisfied that a hazard threat has diminished or the National response to an event can be satisfactorily managed without an activated NEOC; the NEOC may be deactivated. The decision to deactivate the NEOC should be based on all appropriate consultation at the agency, Operations Group and Policy Group level. Depending on circumstances, the NEOC could be deactivated in phases or stages. The Director’s judgement would be principle ingredient in such a decision. It is advisable that the deactivation of the NEOC be done with at least 12 – 36 hours notice such that all relevant agencies and the general public have an opportunity to make appropriate adjustments. In a protracted Response to a major incident deactivation may stretch over a far longer period. In standing down the NEOC, the Director of the NEOC must ensure the following:- Briefings have been conducted with His Excellency the Governor, Honourable Chief Minister and the entire ExCo if necessary. 76 All relevant local, regional and international agencies are informed in a timely fashion. Arrangements are in place for an orderly deactivation. Follow-up actions such as payments on outstanding invoices and the return of loaned or commandeered assets are in hand. Action is underway to prepare a preliminary report for Executive Council. A smooth transition back to “normal” day-to-day institutional arrangements will take place. All relevant documentation regarding NEOC decisions is up to date. The responsibility of the operational deactivation of the NEOC falls to the Director of Disaster Management. The Department of Disaster Management should develop and maintain a checklist to simplify and standardize the procedure. POST-EVENT CONTINUITY An activated NEOC represents a decision-making mechanism which does not exist on a day-to-day basis. If the NEOC has been activated for a brief period and a hazard impact is not severe, then there are few institutional challenges to a return to normal life. If, however, activation has been protracted, lasting several weeks, then a return to “normal” will pose challenges. The first challenge relates to the fact that the NEOC is a 24-hour decision-making mechanism. That is not the case with most government services. Secondly, the NEOC when activated has authority over all national assets. Authority is sharply limited by portfolio responsibility on a day-to- day basis. The third major challenge, is that the NEOC focuses on preserving life, reducing suffering and minimizing losses. This occurs in an environment in which effectiveness may override efficiency. When the NEOC is deactivated, a return to more normal approaches to service delivery follows. Ideally, the National Disaster Recovery Plan, bridges the activities from an activated NEOC to a National Recovery process. The Director of the NEOC and the Director of Disaster Management, should be a part of but not in charge of any Recovery Committee or Task Force. 77 ANNEX 11.2 EARTHQUAKES HAZARD CHARACTERISTICS Sudden onset. Large event may or may not be preceded by swarms of smaller events. Great variation in frequency and intensity of events at any given location. RELATED PHENOMENA • In volcanic regions – volcanic events. In areas like the BVI – Tsunamis if a large event occurs undersea. • Landslides and rockfalls. TYPICAL HAZARD EFFECTS PRIMARY • Damage to buildings and infrastructure resulting in cracking, toppling and collapse. • Major disruption to power and water generation and distribution systems. SECONDARY • Coastal inundation from tsunamis • Contamination of water supplies • Fires and explosions from ruptured fuel supply lines • Landslides and rockfalls especially along road cuttings. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT A very large earthquake could cause extensive damage, disruption of essential services, injuries and casualties. Reclaimed lands “liquefy” during earthquakes and amplify the ground shaking effects in those locations Large numbers of people could be displaced if many buildings are damaged and destroyed. The population could be severely traumatized since most people find a major earthquake an especially frightening experience. SPECIFIC RISKS AND VULNERABILITIES Critical governmental and commercial infrastructure is located on reclaimed land. Anegada is very low lying. The entire Territory is located within one of the world’s most seismically active zones. 78 MITIGATION STRATEGIES • Comprehensive Physical Planning • Enforcement of building code stipulations • Regular assessment of critical facilities for structural strength PREPAREDNESS PRIORITIES • Emergency medical response capacities • Education and public awareness programs • Emergency accommodation and shelter arrangements • Tracing and casualty bureau procedures • Mass casualty management PRE-EVENT PREPAREDNESS CHECKLISTS In addition to general pre-event preparedness, the following should be considered specifically in planning for earthquakes. • Scientific monitoring arrangements. • Public awareness – guidelines for the general public about protecting themselves before, during or after and earthquake. • Mitigation strategies for building design, construction and furnishing. • Emergency medical capacity – trauma facilities, training and supplies. • Emergency water supplies. • Emergency fuel supplies. • Search and Rescue training and support materials and equipment. • Access road clearance after landslides. • Relief and Welfare arrangements. • Emergency stockpiles. • Urban Search and Rescue skills and call-down arrangements for Search and Rescue. • Road clearances after landslides. SCENARIOS Earthquakes vary greatly in magnitude, effects and impacts. Damage can occur along a continuum from none to extensive. The main characteristic of earthquakes from a response stand point, is that residents are not likely to get any notice before an earthquake happens. After a major earthquake there may be very strong after shocks which can exacerbate the situation. 79 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead Agency by Mandate - Department of Disaster Management Lead Agency for overall coordination - Department of Disaster Management Lead Agency for on-scene Response - Fire and Rescue INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE FOR RESPONSE In the case of earthquake events below Response Level 3, the DDM will coordinate the information management and dissemination needs. In the case of events at Response Level 3 or higher, the NEOC will be activated and the SOP’s followed ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SPECIAL RELEVANCE TO EARTHQUAKES AGENCY PRE-EVENT EVENT POST-EVENT Department for Relationship with Note times and Contact Seismic Disaster Seismic Research relative strengths Units for details. Management Units in Puerto Rico (if during working and Trinidad for hours of events) Confer with monitoring of Deputy Governor. seismic events. Make preliminary • Public broadcasts. awareness campaigns Active provisions of National Plan. • Institutional readiness for Earthquake annex NEOC and NEOC Plan activation as necessary. • Arrangements Record for external information in assistance standardized formats. Fire and Rescue Routine monitoring Note times and On-scene Services for secondary relative strengths response hazards of events Search and Institutional capacity Rescue building for Response Incident Command 80 Secondary Hazard assessment and counter measures. Royal Virgin Institutional capacity Note times and Islands Police building for relative strengths Response of events Relay reports to DDM without delay. Ministry of Capacity building SOP’s for patient Emergency Health among staff care during an medical response earthquake Collaborative Mass casualty training management Disposal of the dead (if necessary) Red Cross Capacity building First Aid at among volunteers community level Relief stockpiles First Aid at National level in First Aid Training support of Ministry of Health Tracing Systems Relief distribution Public Awareness Collaborative training Department of Capacity building On-scene Information and among staff response under Public Relations direction of Deployment kits kept Incident in readiness Commander ROUTINE MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS The Department for Disaster Management will take the lead in working with the Seismic Research Units of the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the West Indies, in maintaining a Seismic monitoring programme for the Territory. 81 It is of paramount importance that dialogue is maintained with these agencies so that appropriate readiness actions can be taken if it appears that there is a phase of heightened earthquake activity. SURVEILLANCE It is probable that the first notice of an earthquake would be simply by persons experiencing the ground shaking effects. The public should be encouraged to report any experience of an earthquake to the Department for Disaster Management. Staff at the Department of Disaster Management should be instructed to record such reports on the standard Earthquake Report form and relay the information to the Director of the Department of Disaster Management. RESPONSE GUIDELINES ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS WARNINGS It is unlikely that there would be any warning for earthquakes except where an Alert Level 5 is declared because scientists believe that a swarm of earthquakes could be leading to a major event. CALL-OUT ARRANGEMENTS If an earthquake has caused damage to property and injuries to people, it is likely that there will be direct calls for emergency medical assistance before any centralized call out occurs. Each agency should establish a simple call out arrangement to ensure that staff are alerted and in a position to respond. The guidelines embodied in the alert and Response Schema (see Appendix) should be followed. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT Only earthquakes which have caused noticeable and significant damage or casualties, will require a centrally coordinated response. The guidelines which have been provided with regard to key action areas for Immediate Response, should be followed in conjunction with the Alert Schema – emphasis should be on:- • Leadership and control (Direction) o Non-EOC based o EOC based • Communications • Public information management • Emergency accommodation and shelter 82 • General medical responses • Impact assessments • Damage assessments • De-briefing • After-action reporting • Restoration of critical facilities and services FIELD AND SITE RELATED ACTIONS Major earthquakes have the potential to create devastating effects. While it is true that buildings in the Territory are less than 5 stories in height, a major earthquake could still cause extensive damage. This means that action would be required in the immediate aftermath of the event and for a long time afterwards. The information provided below is not designed to duplicate the details which may be provided in agency plans or Operational Orders but merely to place response actions in a framework designed to promote coordination and reduce confusion. INCIDENT COMMAND In a major earthquake Incident Command assumes enormous proportions. If there has been widespread building collapse then Search and Rescue tasks and the associated Emergency Medical, Mass Casualty and Tracing activities must be undertaken without delay. It is likely also that there will be many different action sites, thus making the task of coordination more difficult. The Incident Command System (ICS) has been proven to be one of the most effective management tools in such circumstances. If the principles and operational procedures of the ICS are faithfully followed, then order can be brought to what will undoubtedly start off as a very chaotic situation. SEARCH AND RESCUE Most deaths and injuries in major earthquakes result from building collapse. Search and Rescue is one of the most crucial and demanding tasks after an earthquake. The efficiency of SAR operations within the first 48 hours of an event, will largely determine the number of survivors retrieved from rubble. The realization that it may take Search and Rescue teams from external agencies, at least 24 hours to arrive, should emphasize the importance of local training and exercising in preparation for earthquake events. EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE Major earthquakes cause large number of casualties. The range of injuries and severity of the injuries is very wide. The Health sector would most likely be stretched beyond normal capacity. It is vital that local capacity to deal with such injuries be kept at a very high level. Further, arrangements should be put in place as part of pre-event Preparedness for the call up of additional trained personnel, 83 medical evacuations overseas and call down arrangements for medical personnel from overseas. Planning for medical emergencies caused by an earthquakes, should embrace public and private health facilities. This means that the relevant MOU’s should be established and/or maintained. RISK AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT Major earthquakes can generate a host of secondary hazards. These can be a combination of the effect of the main event and those of aftershocks. A rapid assessment of risks and vulnerabilities should be conducted by a multi-agency team led by Fire and Rescue Services in conjunction with the Police and Public Works. Such an assessment ideally should be executed as a basis for making judgments with regards to precautionary evacuations, debris removal, precautionary demolition of buildings and the restoration of essential services. LAW AND ORDER A major earthquake like all incidents, can generate public interest, disrupt traffic and make commercial enterprises vulnerable to theft. The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, has the lead responsibility for law and order enforcement and would be required to undertake all appropriate actions and follow procedures to achieve the overlapping objectives of maintaining law and order, crowd and traffic control and protecting vulnerable commercial facilities. It is obvious that the details of such arrangements must remain restricted. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION Standardized procedures for the dissemination of information in a major incident have been deployed under the aegis of the NEOC. These procedures apply to any major incident. The department of Information and Public Relations (GIS) as the lead agency must ensure that its staff are appropriately trained to execute their responsibilities both the in field and at the NEOC. REPORTING AND BRIEFING The main body of the national Disaster Plan includes a well-developed section on briefing and reporting. The important point, is that procedures must be followed consistently throughout the emergency period. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES Major earthquakes by their very nature, can give rise to a set of special circumstances; these include: • Mass Casualty Management • Involvement of external agencies • Burial of larger than usual numbers of dead people • The need for emergency shelter and other accommodation • Transition to the Recovery Phase 84 The various agencies which have lead and support responsibilities in these areas, should ensure that their operational guidelines include details of what is to be done by whom, to respond to these special circumstances. ANNEX 11.3 FLOODS INTRODUCTION HAZARD CHARACTERISTICS In the case of the BVI floods could arise either from torrential rainfall in a short period of time or from persistent rainfall associated with atmospheric disturbances such as depressions. The first category is called Flash Floods. Floods are not regarded as a major natural hazard in the BVI, however there is evidence that flooding has occurred in the past. While it is true that improvements in drainage have lessened vulnerability to floods, a risk does remain. Floods during or following weather disturbances remain a hazard which should be planned for. RELATED PHENOMENA The prospect of flooding is greatest in association with weather disturbances such as hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions. Costal inundation during a hurricane is a distinct possibility in several areas in the Territory. TYPICAL HAZARD EFFECTS PRIMARY • Destruction by the sheer force of moving water – buildings, roads, culverts, bridges and other facilities. 85 • Possibility of persons being swept away in flood waters either on foot or in vehicles. • Damage caused by the impact of debris. • Landslides and rockfalls from saturated soils. • Contamination of water supplies through broken mains and treatment systems. • Extensive damage to crops, vegetation, livestock and coastal ecosystems. • Rupturing of utility supply lines – especially water. • Damage to sewerage and septic systems. • Negative environmental impacts in both terrestrial and marine environments. • Damage to furniture, appliances, household and personal effects. SECONDARY • Health risks through shortage of potable water. • Escalation of disease through vectors such as mosquitoes and flies. • Debilitating conditions brought about through excessive damp and exposure. • Possible contamination from sewers and sewage. RELATED PHENOMENA In the tropics, floods usually arise from atmospheric disturbances which produce intense torrential rain and thus flash floods or persistent rain over several days. Disturbances from “waves” through depressions, to tropical storms, “super cells” and hurricanes can all produce enough rain to bring about flood conditions. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT Although persistent extensive flooding in the Territory in general, is regarded as a low probability event because of geology and topography, there is a marked exception. Anegada, because of its low-lying nature could experience extensive flooding as has occured in the past. SPECIFIC RISKS AND VULNERABLITIES The highest level of risk to flooding, appears to be in Anegada. However there are areas around the entire coastline of Tortola that could experience flood conditions. All reclaimed areas are potentially at risk from flooding. 86 MITIGATION STRATEGIES Structural mitigation strategies are associated with controlling the flow of water by improving the capacity of drains and reinforcing natural channels or by increasing drainage capacity overall. There is also the technique of building design and construction in flood prone areas in which the occupied level of the building is raised above anticipated water levels so that sensitive equipment can be placed above that height. PREPAREDNESS PRIORITIES Receipt of information from meteorological sources as to the probability of flood conditions. A determination of the persons at greatest risk from floods. Arrangements for precautionary evacuations and associated emergency shelter. Arrangements for welfare and relief distribution. Search and Rescue training. Response Plan for Anegada. INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE FOR RESPONSE Lead agency by mandate: Department of Disaster Management Lead agency for overall coordination: Department of Disaster Management Lead agency for on-scene response: RVI Police Force Incident Command: RVI Police Force The Department for Disaster Management has primary responsibility for promoting hazard awareness and risk reduction strategies as part of its overall mandate. There are however, a number of agencies whose roles prior to, during and after a flood event, are crucial to an effective Response. These are shown below:- Town and Country Planning Department RVI Police Force Department of Health Public Works Department Solid Waste Department 87 Environmental Health Department Conservation and Fisheries Department Water and Sewerage Dept. Agriculture Department should be included ROUTINE MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS The Department of Disaster Management has contractual arrangements with commercial weather services. These services modify general weather information and tailor it specifically to the BVI. Arrangements are in place for the Director of the Department of Disaster Management to be alerted if there is a sudden change in conditions or the threat of severe weather appears imminent. In addition, the Antigua Meteorological Services remains the official weather centre for the BVI and therefore remains available as a source for advice or clarification of reports. The public has access to weather reports and forecasts aired on local and regional radio and TV stations. These reports are neither vetted nor endorsed by the Department of Disaster Management but can assist in alerting the public if conditions become threatening. SURVEILLANCE At first indication that a weather disturbance could threaten the BVI, the Department of Disaster Management will initiate its internal mechanisms to ensure that the Director of the Department of Disaster Management is constantly updated. In the event that floods are forecast or appear likely, response mechanisms will be activated. ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS PUBLIC WARNINGS It is vitally important that all Response agencies and the general public receive early warnings if flood conditions are forecast or from local knowledge, appear likely, even if the effects will be localized. This is particularly important in the case of Anegada and the Road Town area. Normal government services and commercial activities could be severely disrupted by flood conditions. The Department for Disaster Management with the support of the Department of Information and Public Relations should ensure that the public is given timely warning if flood conditions are likely or all developing. 88 CALL-OUT ARRANGEMENTS Depending on circumstances, the Director of Disaster Management will determine a level of Alert based on the guidelines of the National Alert Schema and ensure that all key agencies and the general public are informed. (See responsibility matrix.) Agencies should then activate their internal call out arrangements. The Director of the Department of Disaster Management will remain in contact with the Director of the NEOC in the event that the Alert Level has to be escalated or the NEOC activated at short notice. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT It is unlikely given topography and drainage patterns, that floods will affect a large area of the Territory, however some areas could be severely affected. The Director of Disaster Management should rapidly confer with key Response agencies and determine the likely level of Response required. The guidelines in the National Alert and Response Schema should be followed. Close attention should be paid to the situation in all the Sister Islands especially Anegada. Contact should be made and maintained with the District Officers, Zone Coordinators and Police Officers for reports on the situation. The point has been made that floods could arise through a variety of causes and with several related phenomena. This means that in some scenarios such as a hurricane threat, the NEOC could have been activated already. If the NEOC is already activated, then Response follows the NEOC guidelines, if it is not, then the Director of Disaster Management assumes overall responsibility for the coordination of the National Response. Guidelines have already been developed for the following general management issues. The guidelines should be closely followed. • Communications • Public information management • Emergency accommodation and shelter • General medical responses • Impact assessments • Damage assessments • Debriefing • After-Action reporting • Restoration of critical services • Relief and Welfare management • Search and Rescue – land and sea. 89 FIELD AND SITE – RELATED ACTIONS SEARCH AND RESCUE (SAR) SAR could be one of the most important tasks required during flood conditions. Depending on weather, SAR may have to be executed on both land and sea. SAR on land is the responsibility of Fire and Rescue, while SAR at sea is managed through the protocols embodied in the National Marine Search and Rescue Operations Plan. EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE The greatest number of deaths in flash flood arise through persons being swept away in turbulent waters. Large numbers of impact injuries are rare. In floods which arise from persistent heavy rains, there is often enough time for the vast majority of people to move to higher ground before they are swept away. RISK AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT It will be necessary to constantly monitor the situation if flooding is forecast or is probable, to determine which communities and facilities are at greatest risk. It must be remembered that even very localized floods can have devastating effects on people and facilities. Further, the situation can vary widely from locality to locality. An information network should be set up to ensure that reliable information can be obtained from each zone on a Territory-wide basis. SECONDARY HAZARD IMPLICATIONS Flooded streets and culverts can present secondary hazards such as the stalling of vehicles in traffic or the build up of boulders and rocks which may not be immediately visible to drivers. In addition, flood waters can breach roadways and make them impassable afterwards. Debris generated by floods can also create many secondary hazards. Landslides induced by floods can lead to building collapse. PRE CAUTIONARY EVACUATIONS Evacuations of vulnerable communities is often required if risks are very high. It is generally accepted that evacuation is a major management challenge. The decision to evacuate a community should be taken before the evacuation procedure itself becomes hazardous. This may require the exercise of keen judgement and a major effort to convince the affected population of the need for the evacuation if the threat is not immediately obvious. It is highly unlikely that a precautionary evacuation would be undertaken for Anegada except in the face of the threat of a direct hit from a major hurricane. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION The rapid and regular dissemination of information immediately before a flood can save lives. The general public can be advised as to which traffic routes have become impassable or dangerous. The Department of Disaster Management and 90 the Department of Information and Public Relations must ensure that timely and accurate information is disseminated as the situation unfolds. ON-SITE COUNTER MEASURES There is little that can be done by response agencies to lessen the impact of floods during an actual event. One major challenge is Search and Rescue Operations for persons who may be trapped either in buildings or vehicles by flood waters. Great care must be exercised in such SAR operations since the lives of Responders could be under severe threat also. Operational guidelines for such procedures must be closely followed. It is obvious that relevant training is a key component of preparedness strategies. POST EVENT Severe flooding can result in a build up of rocks, vegetation and debris on the roads. Ensuring a rapid clean up program is a priority. Floods can raise many primary health care concerns, from waste disposal to unsafe drinking water, to an increase in vector-borne diseases. The Ministry of Health should conduct prompt assessments and offer the relevant advice to the general public. Rapid assessments should also be executed of essential services and key facilities so that any necessary remedial action can be taken promptly. The opportunity should always be taken if there has been an impact, to record the effects on film and video so that material which is directly relevant to the Territory, can be used in future awareness programmes. TRANSITION TO RECOVERY It is very unlikely that a flood event would require the establishment of the Recovery Task Force. Nevertheless, it is possible that damage could be sufficiently extensive even in small areas, to warrant coordinated systematic attention. Further, it is possible that some persons could suffer such substantial losses of household and personal effects that they will require long term welfare assistance. The system under which such assistance will be provided, should be made clear to the public as soon as practicable. The Relief agencies such as Red Cross and ADRA should work with the Social Development Department and other relevant organizations to 91 ensure equity and efficiency in relief operations by sharing plans and information with each other. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES DOMESTIC ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS One major concern resulting from floods is the damage that can be caused to electrical systems in house and other buildings. The public must be made aware of the grave danger of re-energizing domestic systems which have not been checked by trained persons. Electrical appliances should not be used until appropriate checks have been made. DEBRIS REMOVAL Floods can cause a massive build up of debris. The prompt removal of such debris can become a prerequisite to the resumption of normal life. The Public Works Department will spearhead and coordinate the necessary actions to ensure a prompt response. BUILD UP OF SOLID WASTE Floods can magnify the normal challenges associated with the management of domestic, commercial and industrial solid waste. Volumes can suddenly increase while access could be impaired. The Solid Waste Department will have to lead the response to this challenge. ANNEX 11.4 LANDSLIDES HAZARD CHARACTERISTICS Down-slope movement of soil and rock, resulting from naturally occurring vibrations, soil saturation or removal of vegetation and natural support. Ill-advised excavation of slopes. 92 RELATED PHENOMENA Major landslides and rock falls are often associated with earth tremors, earthquakes or persistent rain. Slope instability can also be induced by construction – related activities on steep slopes. Landslides can also occur as a result of major explosions. HAZARD EFFECTS PRIMARY: Major landslides can cause extensive damage by the physical removal of structures from foundations, burial under tons of earth or impact damage. Debris can block roads, remove utility poles and water distribution pipelines. SECONDARY EFFECTS Secondary effects include removal of natural vegetation, soil erosion, build up of debris in the sea, loss of agricultural land and extensive damage to buildings of all kinds. Disruption of essential services in affected areas; often occurs. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT A major landslide could first of all, cause casualties and deaths. It could also disrupt traffic and damage water and electricity distribution systems. Landslides tend to be highly localized and the effects therefore would not be widespread. Disruption of commercial or social activities at community level often occurs following landslides. SPECIFIC RISK AND VULNERABILITIES The Hazard and Risk Assessment Report (HRAP) regards the Territory as being geologically stable. However, Tortola has comparatively steep slopes made up of old volcanic rocks. Minor rock-falls are a common occurrence after heavy rains. The Coxheath area, has given rise to concern that a major landslide could take place there. Further, the northern and southern coastal roads are constructed on narrow coastal plains in close proximity to steep hills. The pattern of housing development has meant an expansion of construction on comparatively steep slopes outside of Road Town. The associated construction of access roads has lead to several locations of deep road cuttings across slopes. MITIGATION STRATEGIES Structural mitigation strategies such as careful design of roads, house construction techniques and physical planning restrictions on extremely steep slopes, are important mitigation tools. The preservation of the natural vegetation on steep slopes and the construction of retaining walls are related techniques. 93 PREPAREDNESS PRIORITIES • Determining and mapping areas most likely to experience landslides and rock-falls. • Developing a rapid response strategy for the clearance of roads and restoration of essential services. • Developing agreements with the private sector to provide heavy equipment and operators to clear landslides if and when necessary. • Search and Rescue plans. • Emergencies medical response plans. • Emergency shelter arrangements. RESPONSE FRAMEWORK • Lead Agency by mandate - Department of Disaster Management • Overall coordination - Department of Disaster Management • Lead Agency on-scene Response- RVI Police Force • Incident Command - RVI Police Force SUPPORT AGENCIES Public Works Department (PWD) Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS) Electricity Corporation Water and Sewerage Department Cable and Wireless Radio and Television Stations Health Department Conservation and Fisheries Department Agriculture Department ROUTINE MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS It is expected that all Response agencies would advise personnel to report any landslide or rock-fall incident which comes to their notice. The Police and PWD in particular should be especially vigilant. SURVEILLANCE Whenever prolonged on intense rainfall has occurred, the Police and PWD should conduct a rapid assessment by district, to determine whether landslides and rockfalls have occurred. This should also be done whenever earth tremors or earthquakes have been experienced or recorded. 94 WARNINGS It is highly unlikely that it will be possible to provide warnings of landslides before they occur. What is important is that Response agencies anticipate the possibility of landslides accompanying other hazards such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Warnings should be provided once a landslide has occurred if it likely to disrupt access; create secondary hazards cause inconvenience to the public or generate further landslides. If risks can be reduced by providing urgent warnings, the Police or Department of Disaster Management should ensure that such warnings are broadcast and then confer with other key agencies. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT Landslides and rockfalls are not as likely to require a full scale national response as major natural hazards. The principles and practices which have been developed to ensure coordination and public cooperation should always be followed. FIELD AND SITE RELATED ACTIONS INCIDENT COMMAND • The Police are responsible for Incident Command (ICS) for landslides SEARCH AND RESCUE Demands for Search and Rescue would vary with the nature and size of a landslide or rockfall and the point at which it occurs. Persons could be trapped within buildings or buried under debris. Rescue personnel should execute extraction being acutely conscious of any risk to Rescue workers. It is vitally important that any voluntary Search and Rescue efforts be coordinated by persons with requisite skills. RISK AND VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT It is probable that a landslide event would generate secondary hazards which could create vulnerabilities which did not exist prior to the event. The Incident Commander should make a rapid assessment of secondary hazards and determine what actions are required to reduce risks. These could include but not be limited to: - diversion of traffic - evacuation of houses or other buildings that could be at risk - clearance of temporary access roads (entrance and exit) for emergency vehicles. 95 EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE Demands for emergency medical response would vary greatly with the cause, location and extent of a landslide event. It is likely that effective Search and Rescue activities would require a significant emergency medical personnel presence at the scene. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES A major landslide event – depending on location could develop into a mass casualty situation which could quickly overwhelm local medical facilities. This underscores the need to have appropriate medivac arrangements in place. A truly devastating landslide could also result in a comparatively large number of deaths (e.g. collapse and burial of an apartment building after a major earthquake). Arrangements for retrieving bodies, tracing missing persons and burial of the dead would have to receive urgent, coordinated attention. It must be remembered that if external Search and Rescue Teams were to be required, they would probably not arrive for at least 24 hrs after an event. Local Search and Rescue initiated immediately, would have a greater chance of saving lives. POST EVENT The priority after a major landslide event would be all those activities related to saving life e.g. Search and Rescue; Emergency Medical Response and Tracing Missing Persons. Provided all life saving actions were executed in a timely fashion, then actions should turn to restoration of any services which might have been disrupted, such as water and electricity. If major roads are affected, then those should be cleared without delay. There could also be a need for emergency shelter if people are made homeless by an event. Shelter arrangements would simply follow the guidelines laid down in National Emergency Shelter procedures. Families or individuals who sustain substantial losses would expect relief assistance. The DDM should work with agencies like the Red Cross to ensure that any such assistance also follows national guidelines. ANNEX 11.5 TSUNAMIS INTRODUCTION HARZARD CHARACTERISTICS 96 Tsunamis are unusually high waves breaking on the shore, unrelated to weather disturbances or wind speeds. It is thought that they arise from several causes. (1) Earthquakes under the sea floor (2) Landslides under water or arising on land and plunging debris into the water. (3) Volcanic activity under water or near the coast. Tsunamis are hard to discern in deep water and the distance between wave crests in open water may be more than 50 miles. There might be a series of such crests in procession which go undetected. Tsunamis move at phenomenal speed in open water often more than 500 miles per hour. Damage is done at the coastline and not in open water. HAZARD EFFECTS PRIMARY: The primary hazard impact from tsunamis, is the crashing of huge waves against a shoreline with a long run-up of water inland. The force exerted by the waves and the inundation of low-lying areas, can cause death, damage and destruction on a massive scale. Destruction occurs both on the seaward-side (boats, jetties) and the landward-side (buildings, vehicles and utility systems). SECONDARY: A notable secondary effect is the scouring which occurs as the wave withdraws and does even more damage. Deaths can occur principally from drowning and sever injuries as a result of battering by debris. Contamination by salt water or sewage, could affect drinking water supplies and other utility systems. Breakage of pipelines of all kinds remains a distinct possibility. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT However improbable it may seem as a threat, a major tsunami would have devastating effects if it occurred in the Road Harbour area or on Anegada. The concern is that tsunamis give very little or no warning in open water and may arise from events a long distance away. The density of construction on the reclaimed lands in Road Town would be a source of great anxiety if a major tsunami occurred in the Road Harbour area. 97 SPECIFIC RISKS AND VULNERABILITIES Historical records indicate that a major tsunami occurred within the last 200 years. It was extremely destructive. The BVI is thought to be vulnerable to tsunamis for several reasons. (1) The proximity to the very active seismic zones, the Anegada Trough and the Puerto Rico Trench. (2) The fact that most of Anegada is less than 20 feet above sea level. (3) The relatively high proportion of reclaimed land in the capital – Road Town. (4) The existence of the undersea volcano near Grenada Kick ’em Jenny. Specific, detailed scientific modeling has not yet been commissioned by the Territory. Various crude estimates suggest that a 10 ft tsunami could do extensive damage if it occurred. MITIGATION STRATEGIES Mitigation strategies for tsunamis include:- ensuring appropriate design of buildings located very near the coast keeping vital (irreplacable) records well above ground level elevating the living area of buildings in zones of highest vulnerability ensuring relatively rapid and easy emergency exit arrangements for buildings which house large numbers of people in highly vulnerable locations in some countries, breakwaters are used to offer some protection early warning systems – sirens and Emergency Broadcast Systems backed by scientific monitoring. PREPAREDNESS PRIORITIES There are several Preparedness priorities for combating a tsunami hazard. One of the most important is hazard mapping. This results in the development of maps for several tsunami height ranges. Such maps form of the basis of advice which can support land use practices and building design concepts to reduce the 98 vulnerability of structures through location, design, construction style and pattern of use. Community education is a very important strategy. This is so because a major tsunami may provide little or no warning. The most obvious sign of a tsunami, minutes before impact, is an apparent “retreat” of the sea. The public must be made aware of this warning sign and taught that they should immediately seek higher ground if they witness the sea retreating. The establishment of a siren network can also be used as part of a warning system for circumstances in which there is warning that a tsunami could occur. Obviously there are limitations to the use of a siren given the nature of the hazard. One important Preparedness priority is the determination and promulgation of evacuation routes. These are routes which provide easy and rapid access to higher ground. The public should be advised of such routes and the necessity of evacuating on foot, if the warning gives only a few minutes notice of a possible impact. ROUTINE MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS In pacific regions, there are well developed tsunami monitoring and warning systems. In the Eastern Caribbean, no specific programme has as yet been developed. The Seismic Research Units of the University of Puerto Rico and the University of the West Indies monitor seismic activity in and around the Territory. It is still not possible to predict with precision, the appearance and size of tsunamis. However, if a major earthquake (greater than magnitude 7.5) were to occur, a tsunami could be generated. Various tsunami models have been developed in relation to the undersea volcano Kick ’em Jenny. However the University of the West Indies Seismic Unit suggests that even in a major eruption any tsunamis generated by Kick ’em Jenny would be less than six feet in height and would take at least a half an hour to arrive. Both Seismic Units would provide the Territory with the best scientific advice they could at all times. The challenge remains that there may really be notice since no warnings might be detectable. SURVELLIANCE The most likely surveillance scenario, is a steady swarm of earthquakes in the vicinity of the Territory which scientists believe could be building to a major event. Similarly, an upsurge in activity at Kick ‘em Jenny or for that matter any other volcano in the Eastern Caribbean (including Montserrat) would cause scientists to pay close attention to the possibility of tsunamis being generated in the region. 99 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead by Mandate: Department of Disaster Management Lead for overall coordination: Department of Disaster Management Lead for on-scene Response: RVI Police Force Incident Command: RVI Police Force ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES SPECIFICALLY 100 RELATED TO TSUNAMIS POST EVENT The point has been made that a major tsunami could have devastating effects on infrastructure and services at locations near the coast. Decisions would have to be made quickly relating to:- Search and Rescue priorities Emergency medical responses PRE-INCIDENT INCIDENT IMMEDIATE POST Department Hazard mapping Alerts and warnings if Immediate impact of Disaster possible assessment Management Risk analysis Communications with Assessment of Public awareness other agencies secondary hazards Establishment of Damage and needs warning systems assessment surveys if necessary Development of plans and guidelines NEOC activation if necessary Networking with scientific organizations Briefings Reports Networking with external agencies Coordination of relief assistance if necessary RVI Police Direct warnings Assessment of impact Initiate search and Force through mobile public from a safe location if rescue especially off address systems if possible shore time permits. Briefings Evacuation management and Incident command traffic control is time arrangements permits. Other agencies as directed by GIS and police 101 Mass casualty responses External assistance Preliminary impact assessments Activation of the NEOC Whether the National Recovery Task Force should be activated Information dissemination Restoration of essential services if affected Secondary hazards assessment Precautionary evacuations and emergency accommodation Hazard mapping with regard to tsunamis could give indications as to which facilities and services could be affected and there the specific mitigation actions that could reduce negative effects. ANNEX 11.6 DROUGHT BACKGROUND 102 This natural hazard can not be perceived in the BVI in the normal global context. The BVI does not depend on rainfall and surface or ground catchment for the bulk of its potable water supplies. Water for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes is obtained from three sources (i) Commercial water processing facilities (ii) Imports of bottled water (iii) Cisterns fed by rainwater. There is limited use of wells especially for watering livestock. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT Water obtained from cisterns is used primarily as a backup to water distributed by the Water and Sewerage Department. This means that in the event of a prolonged shortage of rainfall, there could be some hardship at the individual household level but the Territory as a whole should not fall into a “Drought Emergency”. The obvious implication is that the demand for water form the W&SD or from overseas suppliers would increase during a period of prolonged shortage of rain. SPECIFIC RISKS AND VULNERABILITIES (i) There is a very close correlation between water currently distributed by W&SD and overall demand. There are specific locations in which there are temporary water shortages due to technical difficulties such as the terrain of the Territory and limitations in distribution lines. (ii) There are some critical facilities such as the Prison that are currently vulnerable to water shortages. There is a single main distribution line which delivers water to the eastern extremities of Tortola and Beef Island, thus producing a concern over vulnerability. (iii) The situation in Jost Van Dyke is of particular concern since the W&SD “barges” water to consumers there to augment rainfed supplies. Efforts are underway to commission a processing plant on that island. (iv) The W&SD storage capacity is limited relative to demand. (v) A single commercial water processing facility supplies more than 60% of the water distributed by the W&SD. (vi) Large quantities of bottled water are imported. (vii) Large numbers of tourists can increase demand for water at very short notice. 103 MITIGATION STRATEGIES One major mitigation strategy is already in place. There is a requirement for homeowners to construct cisterns as an integral part of the construction project. The necessary plans must be submitted for planning approvals. There are minimum standards in force. • Commercial plants have a by-pass facility which allows them to distribute directly through W&SD lines in the event of a problem with W&SD tanks. • Plans are afoot to expand commercial water processing output to cater to demand, especially in the East End area of Tortola. • Plans are also in place for the construction of a water processing facility on Jost Van Dyke. • Water is distributed by tanker to areas of acute temporary shortage. • The private sector uses tankers to provide water in areas which experience shortages. • The Ministry of Agriculture, assists livestock farmers by providing access to water from wells for livestock consumption. PREPARDNESS PRIORITIES • The Water and Sewerage Department must constantly monitor the supply, storage and distribution situation to determine whether shortages could arise and take corrective action in concert with the private sector. • Families should be encouraged to have cistern water tested and treated regularly to maintain water quality. • Families and individuals should be encouraged to keep at least a 3 day supply of potable water at all times. • The W&SD and water processing facilities should maintain emergency response plans aimed at minimizing possible shortages of water and strategies to keep any shortages to a minimum. • A national contingency arrangement should be put in place for the sourcing of potable water in the event of a national shortage of potable water. This should rise to the level of MOU’s with neighbouring countries and procedures for distribution of emergency water supplies. 104 SCENARIOS There are several scenarios that could give rise to a severe water shortage. (1) A breakdown at the major water processing facility. (2) Unrelated breakdowns at more than one water processing facility. (3) Missed shipments of imported water during a breakdown of local processing plants. (4) A protracted period of low rainfall extending over many months. It is obvious that while it is unlikely that any single scenario other than the breakdown of the major processing plant would produce a national-level water shortage, a combination of factors and events could have the same effect. RESPONSE FRAMEWORK The Water and Sewerage Department is expected to lead the response to any water shortage of national concern. The response to any such shortage would not follow the pattern of typical incident response by relying on Incident Command System (ICS) principles. The following activities would require specific coordinated actions. Detailed assessment of the situation, regarding a sudden shortage or anticipated shortage. Diagnosis of the likely length of the shortage and the demand to be satisfied. An assessment of populations and facilities which would face the most severe shortages. Warnings to the public if possible, to secure emergency supplies of potable water. Identification of emergency supplies of potable water. A determination of the most efficient ways to source and distribute emergency supplies. Temporary storage arrangements for water. Supply arrangements for critical facilities such as hospitals and clinics, schools and Central Administration Complex. Supply arrangements for economically sensitive facilities such as hotels and restaurants. 105 Arrangements for vulnerable enterprises such as poultry farms. Resource requirements for an Emergency Water Supply programme o Finance o Personnel o Plant and equipment o Anciliary materials Strategy for returning to normal arrangements Security of water facilities from possible sabotage or unlawful access, occupancy or use Cost recovery arrangements Improvements to generation, storage and distribution capacity to reduce future vulnerability. Although the W&SD is the primary agency concerned with combating a water shortage, it seems likely that at some stage, all Emergency Response agencies could have a role to play with regard to the coordination of Response actions and targeted actions to alleviate shortages in specific situations. 12.0 HUMAN-INDUCED INCIDENT THREATS 12.1 TRANSPORT INCIDENTS 106 ANNEX 12.1.1 AIRCRAFT INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS INTRODUCTION There are 3 airports in the Territory. The main airport is the Terrence B. Lettsome Airport located on Beef Island. The others are on the Sister Islands of Virgin Gorda and Anegada. The Terrence B. Lettsome Airport is a category 3 airport. This means that it has the capacity to service aircraft up to the ATR12 or equivalent, with 65 passengers. The Virgin Gorda airport is a category 1 airport, servicing aircraft no larger than an Islander with a maximum of 9 passengers. The Anegada airport is a category 2 airport with facilities for aircraft with a maximum of 28 passengers. There are approximately 250, 000 passenger arrivals per year at the Terrence B. Lettsome airport. There are approximately 15,000 per year in Virgin Gorda and 4,000 in Anegada. All airports have regularly scheduled services but the vast majority of commercial flights arrive and depart from the Terrance B. Lettsome airport. The Anegada flights are mainly domestic flights. A few arrivals from the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico take place in Virgin Gorda. A wide variety of commercial and private aircraft traverse BVI airspace and use the airports in the British Virgin Islands (especially the Terrance B. Lettsome airport.) These aircraft vary from helicopter and single-engine aeroplanes to cargo and passenger aircraft. International Civil Aviation Organizations (ICAO), standards and recommended practices, the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations and Air Navigation Orders and the laws of the British Virgin Islands, govern the operations of the airports. The Civil Aviation Dept. a Department within the Ministry of Communication and Works manages the Terrance B. Lettsome and the Anegada airport. The Virgin Gorda airport operates under licence. The department is headed by a Director of Civil Aviation and includes an Airport Manager, a Chief Fire Officer and a Security Manager. 107 The Civil Aviation Dept. is responsible for:- - General airport management - Air traffic control - Crash Fire Rescue - Aviation meteorology - Airport Security - Registration of aircraft - Licensing of pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers - Collection of airport terminal revenue The objectives and functions of the Airport Services are highlighted below because of their pivotal role in emergency preparedness and response. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICES • Prevent accidents and incidents between aircraft and aircraft, aircraft and vehicles, and aircraft and obstructions while operating or the maneuvering areas of the airports and in the surrounding airspace. • Expedite and maintain a safe and orderly flow of air traffic. • Notify emergency services of accidents or potential accidents and coordinate the movement of Search and Rescue assets as required. CRASH FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES • Respond to all emergency calls from the Control Tower • Save lives • Minimize property damage. • Render humanitarian services on and around the airport. • Maintain and keep in a state of readiness, fire appliances and equipment including the marine rescue boat. • Train personnel in operational standards. • Carry out daily inspections of the Crash Fire and Rescue equipment and record findings. • Maintain the legally mandated level of extinguishing agents. • Keep relevant records for annual inspections by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority. 108 SECURITY SERVICES • deter criminal elements from using the airport for unlawful purposes • detect any unauthorized weapons, explosives and incendiary material • prevent such objects from being carried onboard aircraft or into a restricted zone • screen passengers, luggage, employees and other personnel • conduct physical searches of passengers, employees and luggage PRE-INCIDENT/ACCIDENT PREPAREDNESS The Civil Aviation Dept. undertakes a range of long and short term activities to promote readiness for emergencies. These include – Establishment of an Airport Disaster Committee – an internal committee. Development of the Terrance B. Lettsome (Beef Island) Airport Emergency Plan. Compliance with internationally mandate operational procedures. The staging of a full-scale crash exercise at least once every two years. Participation in exercise and training activities organized by the Department of Disaster Management. The Establishment of an inter-agency Aerodrome Emergency Organization Committee comprising: o The Airport Manager o The Operations Manager o A representative of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force o The Chief Fire Officer o The Chief Security Officer o A medical doctor The Airport Disaster committee develops strategies and tactics, promoting inter-agency collaboration and proposes relevant training. The Civil Aviation Department arranges specialist training for response personnel – particularly the Crash Fire and Rescue Services. Develops emergency procedures in line with the ICAO Airport Service Manual and Civil Aviation Legislation. 109 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead agency by Mandate - Civil Aviation Dept. Overall Coordination - Civil Aviation Dept. Incident Command - Civil Aviation Dept. On-Scene Responses - Crash Fire and Rescue, Police Civil Aviation, Health, Government Information(GIS), Red Cross, Tourist Board, VISAR (marine incidents) Local radio and Marine Services Unit, Department of Disaster Management Police, VI Fire and Rescue Services, Custom, Immigration. NOTE: The Civil Aviation Dept. assumes Incident Command responsibility within a five mile-radius of the aerodrome. Outside of that limit, incident command falls to the Lead Agency by Response depending on the precise nature of the incident or accident. The Civil Aviation Dept in its entirety remains part of the national response mechanism. TYPES OF AIR CRAFT EMERGENCIES The Terrence B. Lettsome Airport Emergency Plan identifies the following types of aircraft emergencies: AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT Accidents have occurred or appear inevitable in the vicinity of the aerodrome. AIRCRAFT GROUND INCIDENT Where an aircraft on the ground is known to have an emergency situation other than an accident, requiring the attendance of emergency services. FULL EMERGENCY When it is known that an aircraft is, or is suspected to be in such trouble that there is a danger of an accident LOCAL STANDBY When it is known that an aircraft has, or is suspected to developed a defect which can present difficulties but these are not such as would normally involve any serious difficulty in effecting a safe landing. 110 WEATHER STANDBY When weather conditions have deteriorated to such an extent as to make landing of an aircraft difficult. The phrase “weather standby” is also used when tropical force winds or greater, are expected within 48 hrs. DOMESTIC FIRES Any fire inside the aerodrome boundary or within a ½ mile radius outside the airport boundary, excluding airport fires. In case of such fires, fire-tenders are dispatched on the authority of the Chief Fire Officer with the concurrence of the Air Traffic Controller on duty. HIJACKING Actions taken in accordance with security procedures. BOMB THREATS A threat of any kind whether by phone or otherwise which could pose a danger to the aerodrome aircraft, aerodrome personnel or the traveling public. EARTHQUAKES Any convolution of the superficial parts of the earth due to the release of accumulated stress as expressed in noticeable tremors or quakes, has the potential to create aircraft incidents at the aerodrome as well as damage facilities on the compound. Secondary hazards would be of great concern. The airport Emergency Plan provides guidelines as to the actions that should be taken in each of those emergency situations. The details of the Plan will not be reproduced here. Roles and responsibilities for Civil Aviation personnel are clearly spelt out in the Emergency Plan. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SURVEILLANCE Air traffic controllers are required to constantly monitor aircraft for any indication that an emergency could be developing. The Air Traffic Control Tower maintains contact with the area Control Centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico. ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS Responsibility for initiating action by the aerodrome Fire Service and other bodies concerned in the event of an aircraft accident or incident, will normally rest with the Air Traffic Control Officer on duty. Depending on the nature of the emergency such action includes:- - Activating the crash alarm system - Informing the Crash Fire and Rescue Service - Informing Aerodrome Security - Informing the Hospital 111 - Informing the Police - Informing the Airport Manager and Director of Civil Aviation - Informing the area Control Centre in San Juan The airport Emergency Plan has a “call-up cascade” to ensure that all key officials and agencies required for Response or decision making, are informed without delay. MOBILIZATION Mobilization for emergency response varies because accidents and incidents could occur within an airport compound or outside the compound. Further, events could occur at sea as well as on land. The Civil Aviation Authority assumes Incident Command responsibility for accidents or incidents within a (five) 5 mile-radius of the aerodrome. Incidents outside that limit would fall to the National Response arrangements under the NEOC Standing Operating Procedures. The precise nature of mobilization will therefore vary greatly with the type of emergency and its location. NATIONAL LEVEL ALERT AND RESPONSE AND ACTIVATION OF THE NEOC The National Disaster Management Plan has an Alert and Response Schema with indicators to guide whether or not the NEOC should be activated. Under that schema, any aircraft emergency is likely to be designated an Alert Level 5 until the accident/incident has occurred or has been averted. In terms of Response Levels, there could be great variation. Incidents could occur in which a single-engine aircraft with only a pilot aboard, develops a problem in which no injuries or damage result, to a full scale accident, involving a commercial aircraft nearly full of fuel and at full passenger capacity. Response levels could therefore be from 1 to 5. Activation of the NEOC will therefore depend on the full set of circumstances and the Response Level. In the majority of cases, it seems likely that activation of the NEOC will occur after an accident or incident has already occurred. RESPONSE MANAGEMENT INCIDENT COMMAND It is expected that any response to an aircraft emergency will follow the principles and practices of the Incident Command System (ICS). While it is 112 acknowledged that the Department of Disaster Management continues to spearhead local efforts in ICS training and that senior emergency response personnel continue to receive training, it may be useful here to provide a synopsis of the ICS. This is in an effort to ensure that all agencies required to respond to an incident or accident have a common understanding of the ICS. No single Response Agency can provide all the resources and expertise necessary to counter any but the most minor accident or incident. Agencies must work together well to provide effective, timely and safe responses. The Incident Command System (ICS) is designed to bring about consistently coordinated responses to incidents. The ICS is described by FEMA as: “A model tool for command, control and coordination of a response and provides a means to coordinate the efforts of individual agencies as they work towards the common goal of stabilizing the incident and protecting life, property and the environment ……. The ICS uses a common organizational structure and key management concepts in a standardized way. Regardless of the size of the incident, or the number of agencies involved in the response, all incidents require a coordinated effort to ensure an effective response and the efficient safe use of resources.” I.C.S. ORGANIZATION There are 5 major components. Command Planning Operations Logistics Finance/Administration In very small incidents, the Incident Commander (The most senior member of the Lead Agency on-scene) may assume direct responsibility for all 5 components. ICS structure can expand on contract but regardless of incident size – there must always be an Incident Commander. COMMAND Directed by the Incident Commander who focuses on:- • Establishing an Incident Command Post (ICP) • Directing responses to save life and property • Controlling personnel and resources • Maintaining accountability • Ensuring appropriate documentation • Establishing and maintaining effective communication and decision making arrangement among all agencies and the NEOC if activated. • Authorizing release of information to the media • Ensuring responder safety 113 PLANNING This unit is only required in very large incidents. In small incidents, the Incident Commander assumes responsibility for:- • Collecting, evaluating, disseminating and using information about the development of the incident and status of resources. OPERATIONS The designated head of Operations has direct responsibility for implementing the Incident Action Plan (IAP) or Standard Operating Procedures:- Responder safety Assisting the Incident Commander Sourcing and managing personnel, equipment and other resources LOGISTICS In many incidents, responsibility for Operations and Logistics is given to the same individual. In long term responses, a Logistics Unit is required. This Unit has responsibility for:- Providing facilities, services and materials including personnel to operate the requested equipment for the incident. The Logistics Unit provides the ways and means of support for response functions FINANCE/ADMINISTRATION Many Incident Commanders do not set up Finance and Administration as a separate unit. In situations which have been declared National Disasters, such a unit is necessary. It will be responsible for tracking incident costs and reimbursement accounting. The Incident Commander has overall control of an incident. In large complex incidents specific functions may be given to persons who constitute a command team, these include:- An Information Officer A Safety Officer A Liaison Officer Personnel may be appointed to serve as section chiefs in Planning, Operations, Logistics, Finance/Administration. The sections chiefs can expand or contract their operations as the incident requirements change. PRINCIPLES OF ICS FEMA proposed 9 principles upon which ICS is based. Common Terminology - Standardized meanings for key terms Modular organization - Structure can expand and contract as required 114 Integrated Communications - Based on common frequencies, terminology and Procedures Unity of Command - Each person reports to only one supervisor Unified Command Structure - Common objectives and SOP’s within each organization for its own responsibilities Consolidated Plans - Designed for the entire incident Limited Span of Control - Manageable and realistic Facilities - Designated according to standardized requirements Comprehensive Resource Management - Centralized control and deployment management ICS FACILITIES The ICS suggests three distinct areas – The Incident Command Post (ICP) Staging Areas Bases The Incident Commander (IC) should establish an Incident Command Post (ICP) at every incident. It may be in a vehicle initially or in the absence of other suitable facilities. In large incidents or as the incident unfolds, a vehicle will be inadequate. An area which meets the requirements below should be designated – - Outside the hazard area - Within view of the incident - Restricted to essential personnel only The ICP should be named and marked in the ICS ICP symbols. The name and location should be communicated to key responders. Staging Areas The incident base for resource managements especially vehicles plant and equipment. Staging Areas should:- - Be outside the hazard area but close to operations - Have separate entrances and exits for response needs - Be large enough to accommodate the resources which will be used - Be secure The Staging Area should also be appropriately designated, marked and the location communicated to key officials. 115 If an incident is very large or the response is protracted, the Incident Commander may establish additional facilities such as a Base, a Casualty Collection Point, a Camp or a Helispot. PROCEDURES The ICS procedures rely on responders being trained in standard terminology before responding to an incident. Briefings, documentation and face to face communication underpin the system. CONTROL AND COORDINATION The Department of Civil Aviation is directly responsible for controlling and coordinating the initial response to all incidents and accidents at any airport in the Territory. On notification of an emergency at any Airport, the Chief Fire Officer at the Airport will assume full responsibility for the execution of fire and rescue services until such time as the on Scene Commander arrives. The response to and control of Airport accidents will be determined by a number of factors including location, severity etc. The diagram is intended to provide an indication of the many agencies which will be required to respond in the event of an aircraft accident. Director of Civil Aviation On-Scene Commander - Airport Manager CFO ATC Security Police GIS Hospital Customs and Immigration Chief Air Traffic Departmental of Medical Services Fire Controller Information and including the Officer Public Relations hospital Company’s Senior Representative (Airline Affected) 116 Successful coordination is based on realities which are not determined by nature of an accident or incident. It relies upon:- - capacity and competence among agencies to execute assigned tasks - clear delineation of roles and responsibilities - familiarity with all plans and procedures for response and communication - clear internal procedures for each agency - high levels of trust and respect among leaders of organizations In an aircraft accident or incident, coordination could be required at three levels: (a) Incident/accident site (b) Territory-wide among local response agencies (c) Among external agencies assisting in response. The principles enunciated in the National Disaster Management Plan and the National Emergency Operations Centre Standing Operating Procedures (NEOC SOP’s) are designed to promote effective coordination. ON-SITE COUNTER MEASURES Any aircraft emergency which develops into an accident or incident, presents many challenges for response agencies. These include:- - The likelihood of mass casualties among passengers and or crew. - The possibility of mass casualties on the ground. - The development of secondary hazards such as fires, explosions, fuel spills and toxic fumes (HAZMAT). - The suspension and disruption of normal airport services - National security concerns. - Litigation related issues - International obligations with regard to investigations and reporting. - The possibility of terrorist or other criminal acts. GENERAL SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS • All sources of ignition such as naked flames must be kept well away from an accident or incident • Vehicle movements should be minimized to ensure that leaking fuel does not create secondary hazards. 117 • Response personnel should approach from up-wind and up-hill as far as possible. • Vehicles should be parked facing away from the affected aircraft to ensure rapid departure if necessary. • Emergency vehicles should be managed so they do not obstruct each other. • Sagging helicopter rotors can create a serious hazard, response personnel should act accordingly. SEARCH AND RESCUE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE These related areas of response assume critical importance in aircraft accidents or incidents. The agency response guidelines will not be reproduced here but it is expected that all agencies will follow their Standard Operating Procedures and particularly the Mass Casualty Response Plan. COMMUNICATIONS As with all emergencies, inter-agency communication, becomes one of the primary tools of effective response. All agencies are expected to be governed by the National Emergency Telecommunications Plan. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION The Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS) is the lead agency in this regard. On being contacted in regard to any accident or incident, it is expected that GIS staff will follow these general guidelines – • Make appropriate arrangements to be available at the incident or accident scene; the NEOC or any other location. • Plan to be out of office for protracted periods. • Ensure that all equipment and support materials are readily available and in good working condition. • On arrival at the scene if directed: o Identify himself/herself to security personnel if in place. o Request an audience with the Incident Commander o Obtain guidance on procedures for updating media in general and Department of Information and Public Relations in particular. o Set up a media relations unit. o Maintain a chronological log of events 118 o Liaise with Incident Command and the Director, Disaster Management for guidelines on urgent public information dissemination needs. o Maintain a presence at the scene until directed otherwise by the Incident Commander or Department of Disaster Management. STANDING DOWN When the Incident Commander is satisfied that no further Rescue, Response or Recovery operations are required at the scene, operations will be stood down. If the NEOC is activated, there must be a consensus regarding the decision to stand down at the scene. It is possible that the NEOC could remain activated even after operations at the scene have been stood down. ANNEX 12.1.2 MARINE INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS BACKGROUND A wide variety of hazards and incidents can give rise to emergencies and disasters he marine sector. These include:- • Collisions • Bad weather 119 • Hurricanes and related weather disturbances • Beaching of vessels • Oil spills • Fires and explosions at sea • Acts of terrorism • Tsunamis (at the shoreline) The primary goal in marine incidents is to save lives through properly coordinated Search and Rescue Operations. That focus is maintained in this annex, o Preparations for hurricanes and related weather phenomena are treated under general hurricane preparedness. o There is a separate Oil Spill Response Plan already in existence. o There are regional contingency arrangements for major marine pollution incidents (CRRT framework). o Aircraft incidents are managed according to international guidelines o Fires and explosions at sea are regarded as incidents requiring detailed Operational Guidelines for the Fire and Rescue Services which they are continuing to develop. The focus of this annex is therefore arrangements for Search and Rescue at sea following mass transport accidents or other major incidents. INTRODUCTION There are regular, (usually) daily ferry services between some of the islands of the British Virgin Islands – Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Peter Island and Jost Van Dyke. In addition, there are daily ferry services to the United States Virgin Islands of St. John and St. Thomas. Cruise ships visit these islands primarily during the peak tourist season of November to April. The Marine Services Unit is developing a British Virgin Islands Search and Rescue Operations Plan (SAR OPLAN) which it intended to “provide for the effective use of all locally available resources in the prosecution of Search and Rescue missions, in accordance with International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Manual guidelines”. The Marine Services Unit is also working closely with relevant external agencies such as the US Coast Guard to ensure that desired arrangements for coordination and cooperation (in marine Search and Rescue) are built into the respective plans of the US and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. 120 The information provided in this annex, is based on but not intended to duplicate or replace the Search and Rescue Operations Plan or any future updates of the Plan. Responsibilities for overall coordination or the mandate to respond to incidents varies. The matrix shown below is intended to assist in clarifying those responsibilities. Key tasks and responsibilities include:- Preparedness arrangements - training, resourcing, exercising, plan development Notification of other agencies Mobilization of assets Command and Coordination arrangements Search and Rescue Operations Response Management and logistics Primary and Secondary Risk Assessment Environmental safety Emergency medical response Casualty bureau management Personnel management External assistance – coordination arrangements Public information dissemination Evidence collection Reporting and briefings Incident review Salvage arrangements Evidence collection and investigation Cost recovery Detailed, specific guidelines are not provided for all of these responsibilities and tasks. This is so because the arrangements for many of the support functions fall within overall contingency planning for each agency. Further, there is little to be gained by duplicating directions and instructions for specialist departments such as the Hospital which already exist in their agency or sector plans. Guidelines for the effective coordination of inter-agency actions are provided in the SAR OPLAN. Several of these are summarized in the RESPONSE GUIDELINES SECTION of the Annex for Marine Incidents. MATRIX OF PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR MARINE INCIDENTS HARZARD OR LEAD BY OVERALL ON-SCENE INCIDENT NOTES INCIDENT MANDATE COORDINATION RESPONSE COMMAND Ferry Marine Marine Police Marine, Police US Coast accident Services Services VISAR, Ports Marine Guard Authority; involved in 121 Marine major incident Services, Private Sector vessels, Police Air Unit, US Coast Cruise As above As above Medical Police Guard Ship Services Marine involved in accident any but most As above minor incident US Coast Civil Aviation Civil Aviation Police Guard Air crash Marine involved as at sea requested As above and Department Civil Aviation Primarily of Disaster Department Police Preparedness Hurricanes Management of Disaster Marine and post – and other Management impact storms (DDM) Marine Services Unit, Police Response Ports Authority, Marine activities Marine Police Marine, Pollution Department VISAR, Private A major Oil Spills Action Group of Disaster Sector vessels, incident (MPAG) Management Police Air Unit would Police Marine generate a Conservation CRRT and Fisheries response Marine Services Port Authority Police Air Unit Private Sector Vessel on Fire and Fire and Fire and A major fire or Rescue Rescue Rescue incident explosions Services Services Police Marine would on board Marine generate a Services US coast VISAR Guard Medical Response Accident at Police Police Services Police sea with Marine Marine Marine On-shore 122 illegal post incident immigrants Police Marine activities fall VISAR to other Customs agencies Marine Service Immigration Port Authority Tsunami Department Medical of Disaster Department Services Responses Management of Disaster Private Sector would be Management primarily post Police Marine incident VISAR Marine Terrorist Police Services incident Police Port Authority Medical Services Private Sector Police Police Marine VISAR Marine Services Medical Services Private Sector INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS INTERNATIONAL MARITIME SEARCH AND RESCUE AGREEMENT The British Virgin Islands has obligations relating to Maritime Search and Rescue under the following International Conventions: International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974 (SOLAS 74) including amendments relating to the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (SOLAS 88) International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue 1979 (SAR 79) International Convention on Salvage 1989 123 Convention on International Civil Aviation 1944 (ICAO Convention Annex 12) The Law of the Sea 1982 It is expected that as is the case with all international obligations, the lead agency (Marine Services Unit) will continue to work with relevant local and external agencies to ensure that there is the appropriate local legal framework to support these obligations and that all agencies will undertake the necessary preparedness tasks to continue enhancing response capability. SURVEILLANCE All agencies which have responsibilities for incident response, maintain their routine programs of surveillance for the hazards and incidents identified. NOTIFICATION The schematic shown below, explains the methods by which agencies are notified of possible incidents and the flow of information among key agencies. The Chart shown below, graphically illustrates the coordinating mechanisms for marine SAR operations. The Rescue Sub-Centre is the hub of the Operations. It ensures a consistent flow of information to all key agencies whenever alert or distress calls are received. The chart illustrates the fact that a wide range of agencies are involved in marine SAR and as such all agencies are required to conform to the guidelines and directives issued by the Rescue Sub-Centre. 124 VIRGIN ISLANDS SAR OPERATIONS CHART (DRAFT) VHF, EPIRBS & Distressed Craft Public Reporting DSC Sources Disaster Management (assist with logistics, Police 911 Operations information, and financial management and response co-ordination) Tortola Radio Rescue Sub-Center Evaluate all incoming calls Liaise with Liaise with RCC Initiate communication RCC San Juan ref Marine Section Alert/call out SAR Resources and USCG callout Activate local emergency systems VISAR Coordinate SAR efforts B.V.I. Marine Association Customs Marine Services Unit Marine Police Fire & Rescue Rescue Sub-center (assist with marine fire response Local Boats Conservation & operations & co- Fisheries ordination Conduct marine surface searches, assist and evaluate Assist with marine surface searches communications, conduct investigations. 125 ACTIVATION MECHANISM The National Alert and Response Schema envisages that whenever a hazard provides notice of possible impact then the Department of Disaster Management and the Lead Agency by Response (Incident Command) will recommend that a level of Alert ranging from 1 to 5 be declared. Whenever a hazard does not give notice, then a Response level will be determined by the Lead Response Agency in consultation with the Department of Disaster Management. There are two crucial issues with regard to Response levels. (i) whether the NEOC should be activated i.e. Response Level 3 and (ii) whether External assistance is required, i.e. Levels 4 and 5. SEARCH AND RESCUE GUIDELINES DEPLOYMENT PROCEDURES The procedures outlined below are those taken from the SAR OPLAN. INITIAL REPORTS Reports of vessels or aircraft missing, overdue or in distress, are forwarded by the fastest means to the Rescue Co-ordination Center (RCC) who will evaluate the information and initiate the necessary action. Initial reports received directly by the Rescue Sub-Center (RSC) are evaluated by the RSC in conjunction with the RCC so as to ensure that a duplication of efforts does not occur, and effective use of resources is made. Similarly, reports of flares or sightings of distress craft, made on the 911 emergency telephone system should be relayed to the RCC so that an accurate assessment of the situation and determination of the distress position can occur by making use of all available sighting reports. RESPONSE GUIDELINES INITIAL ACTION BY RCC Upon receipt of information indicating that a vessel or aircraft is in a state of emergency the RCC will evaluate the information and determine the emergency phase, the type and the extent of the response required. The RCC will then alert the appropriate agencies and possibly request certain forms of assistance. PROCEDURE DURING EMERGENCY PHASES Uncertainly Phase Example – Vessel/Aircraft reported overdue The information received by the RCC/RSC will be verified if necessary and attempts made to obtain further information. 126 A communication search will be initiated by the RCC who will attempt to contact the missing vessel or aircraft by the most direct means, or obtain information from a source knowledgeable about the vessel or aircraft’s operations. Sightings of vessels suspected of being in difficulty will, where necessary, be verified by the dispatch of land and/or sea units to the scene to verify the report. Alert Phase Example – Vessel/Aircraft confirmed overdue; possibly in distress Upon the declaration of the Alert Phase the appropriate agencies within the SAR mechanism will be alerted by the RCC and the following information provided: (a) Emergency phase (ALERT or DISTRESS) (b) Type of craft, description and number of persons on board (c) Nature of emergency (d) Position, if known (e) Present and forecast weather (f) Nature of assistance required In case of incidents near the British Virgin Islands, RSC British Virgin Islands will assume the role of SAR Mission Co-ordinator (SMC). Should multiple simultaneous incidents occur locally, the RCC might appoint the RSC to assume the SMC role for specific cases. Similarly in the case of a large oceanic incident, some distance form British Virgin Islands, RSC British Virgin Islands may hand off the function of SMC to another RCC elsewhere in the Caribbean. If a vessel’s position is unknown, the SMC will determine the most probable position and the initial search area will be based upon the information obtained from the reporting source during the communication search. The SMC will issue an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast (UMIB) if this has not already been undertaken during the Uncertainty phase, and promulgate relevant information by the most effective means which may include broadcasts using VHF and HF radio or even satellite systems. SMC will dispatch SAR response units as appropriate. For instance, a disabled small craft in sheltered waters would not be considered to be in distress. However, the timely dispatch of a SAR unit may be required to ensure that such an incident does not progress to the distress phase. SMC will keep the vessels owner, the next of kin of persons on board and the reporting sources all informed of any action being taken. 127 Distress Phase Example – Distress signal received, or signs of distress reported. SMC will brief the crew of Search and Rescue Units (SRCs) and dispatch SRUs to the distress position or to the “commence search point” in a timely fashion. Use of maritime distress frequencies and other methods of communication will be made in order to divert any vessels in the area of scene. The SMC will: (a) Designate an on-scene commander (OSC) if necessary (b) Alert additional SAR facilities if necessary (c) Co-ordinate and direct the SAR operation ACTION BY UNITS Units engaged in searching will advise the OSC (or SMC directly if no OSC has been appointed) of their progress, observation and results at regular intervals in the form of a Situation Report (SITREP). When the distressed craft has been located, a SITREP stating the following, will be passed to the SMC: (a) Time of sighting and position of the craft (b) Apparent condition of persons on board (c) Additional SRUs required on scene, if any (d) Intended action (e) On-scene weather conditions When the vessel has been assisted and/or the survivors rescued, the SRU concerned will inform the OSC (or SMC directly) and advise what facilities are required ashore upon their return. CONTROL AND CO-ORDINATION Rescue Co-ordination Center Tortola Radio is the designated RSC for SAR operations in the British Virgin Islands and is responsible for assessing requests for assistance, and then tasking appropriate response units. Effective control/co-ordination is not possible without access to a broad range of communication systems. Tortola Radio is well equipped in this regard. RSC British Virgin Islands is responsible for maintaining the details of SAR resources, their equipment and their capabilities to ensure an effective response to SAR incidents. Details are contained in the SAR OPLAN. The RSC may delegate response responsibility for co-ordination to an on- scene commander (OSC) who will ensure the effective direction of SAR operations. The OSC will ensure that RSC is kept informed of developments and search progress/results through the use of Situation Reports (SITREPS). 128 In the case of a large scale incident RCC British Virgin Islands is responsible for alerting other British Virgin Islands Government Departments and Agencies that may have resources and manpower desirable for life saving efforts. PERSONNEL Personnel required for SAR operations will be nominated by the authorities concerned indicating the duties for which they are responsible and how they may be contacted in an emergency. Alternates will be nominated where necessary. RSC will be responsible for calling out personnel according to the nature and circumstances of any emergency. Certain agencies may make use of existing internal call-out procedures when requested. EQUIPMENT The type of SAR craft, and the extent to which it is used, the ancillary equipment, and supplies carried onboard will vary with the type of incident. A list of available local craft and details of the equipment fitted on board has been compiled for SAR purposes, and is included in the OPLAN. Specialist equipment may be required in the case of fire. The presence of biological chemical or nuclear agents should also be considered, and the threats posed to rescue personnel assessed. Advice and logistical support from the British Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service (BFS would be called upon by the RSC in all cases. Some incidents can be resolved by the RSC requesting assistance from vessels already operating in the general area of the distress. Failing that, a suitable Marine Police, VISAR, Customs, or Marine Services Unit may be tasked to respond. Should the incident position, nature of distress, or weather, prevent this however, the RSC will request assistance from better-suited SAR vessels from the list of local SAR resources. MEDICAL Medical requirements for persons being landed at British Virgin Islands will be coordinated by the Director of Health Services at Peebles Hospital who will initiate action as necessary, according to the situation and the scale of emergency. Details of medical equipment, personnel and their use in SAR operations, including procedures for handling survivors, on-scene triage and casualty transport will be the responsibility of the Director of Health Services. Oceanic medical cases requiring immediate medical advice will normally result in RCC liaising with RCC San Juan, and US Coast Guard Flight Surgeons who are familiar with the remote treatment of patients in a shipboard environment. Certain private hospital/clinics in the Puerto Rico also offer expertise in this area. 129 Where immediate medical treatment is required, a helicopter MEDEVAC may also be performed. Any subsequent dis-embarkation of sick or injured crew for further treatment in the British Virgin Islands is undertaken in the presence of a local doctor in consultation with the Hospital Emergency Department via the RCC. The Rescue vessels of the Marine Services Units normally perform such transport operations. PUBLIC INFORMATION In view of the importance of keeping the general public informed of all SAR incidents, information will be forwarded to the news media by the RCC as a matter of routine. In the event of a large-scale incident, assistance from the Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS) would be requested. Those involved at the scene of an incident, or engaged in a search should be careful not to comment on the facts surrounding the incident, but should refer all inquiries from the public or media to the RCC where a GIS representative will be able to assist. Certain routine matters may be handled directly at the discretion of the On Scene Commander. Large-scale incidents will require the establishment of an information center, and will involve the Police Information Officer under the direction of the Commissioner of Police. Inquiries will be set up by the airline(s) concerned. In the event of a civil air disaster, a special information center for inquiries will be set up by the airline(s) concerned. NOTE: Management of fatalities must follow established procedures. TERMINATION OF OPERATIONS When the distress craft has been located and/or the survivors rescued and delivered safely ashore, the RSC will terminate the SAR operation and advise all concerned. If the distressed craft is not located and it had been determined that further searching would be of no avail, the RCC shall with the permission of the Director Marine Services suspend SAR operations pending further developments and will advise all personnel involved. RECORDS AND REPORTING The RSC will maintain a detailed record of all communications and actions taken through the various SAR alert phases. A narrative of events will be compiled at incident conclusion in order to assist with subsequent investigations and SAR case analysis. 130 COSTS An account of all expenses resulting from SAR operations will be kept by each Department and will be available upon request. The Accountant General will be responsible, where possible, for recovering any costs. SALVAGE Salvage will be the responsibility of the Marine Services Unit for marine craft and the Department of Civil Aviation for aircraft. Marine Services Unit may be requested to assist in the recovery of aircraft offshore. SPECIAL CIRSUMSTANCES INVOVEMENT OF EXTERNAL AGENCIES The British Virgin Islands SAR OPLAN is intended to cover inshore waters (habours, bays) and offshore waters with oceanic operations being only undertaken to a distance of 30 nautical miles from shore – the agreed safe operating distance for locally based SAR resources, and under the right conditions it is possible to go further. The ability of local units to respond to such ranges would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The prosecution of SAR in the British Virgin Islands area may also be undertaken by RSC without the assistance of local vessels, but rather through the tasking of foreign-based aircraft and ships in the vicinity of the islands. As the British Virgin Islands is situated within an internationally recognized maritime SAR region for which the US Coast Guard has accepted overall responsibility, oceanic SAR incidents may or may not require that the British Virgin Islands Plan be utilized in the prosecution of SAR missions. The scale of any incidents, and consideration as to which center is best positioned to act as Search Mission Co-ordinator is of primary concern. RSC may elect to maintain SMC or hand off SMC to RCC San Juan. Should SMC be maintained by RSC British Virgin Islands, SAR response would be undertaken in accordance with established international procedures, with local resources being drawn upon as necessary. The Rescue Sub-Center(RSC) in the British Virgin Islands is authorized to request from other rescue co-ordination centers, such assistance as may be needed (including vessels, aircraft and other equipment) to assist persons in distress at sea, and will similarly provide assistance to other rescue co-ordination centers when requested. INQUIRIES/INVESTIGATIONS The Government may initiate an inquiry or investigation into a SAR incident should it be considered necessary. Recommendations arising from such will be 131 referred to the SAR Standing Committee for review and implementation where necessary. MASS CASUALTY RESPONSE The Potential for a large number of casualties following a marine incident can not be ignored. The casualties that could result form a major incident involving a ferry with a full passenger load or cruise ship with thousands of passengers, would soon overwhelm the capacity of local medical facilities. This reality is well understood by local medical officials. Mass casualty arrangements are being developed which ensure a smooth and timely transfer of casualties to other jurisdictions in the event of a major incident. SECONDARY HAZARDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS Marine incidents could give rise to a variety of secondary hazards and environmental issues. These include - fuel spills - scattering of cargo (floating debris) - spillage of dangerous or hazardous cargo - negative impacts on marine life - contamination of beaches - premature release of wastes The agencies most directly concerned with responding to such secondary hazards are expected to comply with their own Standard Operating Procedures and the guidelines which may be found in the general sections of the National Disaster Management Plan. 132 ANNEX 12.1.3 MASS TRANSPORT INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS ON LAND INTRODUCTION There are more than 4,000 motor vehicles in the Territory. Minor traffic accidents are common but traffic accidents involving large numbers of people are rare. A risk of such accidents exists, because there are buses operated by the private sector for public transport and “safari” buses used for overland tours in the tourism industry. There guidelines are intended for accidents on land involving large numbers of (more than 5) people. LEAD AGENCY BY MANDATE - RVI Police Force (RVIPF) LEAD FOR OVERALL COORDINATION - RVI Police Force LEAD FOR ON-SCENE RESPONSE - RVI Police Force INCIDENT COMMAND - RVI Police Force SUPPORTING AGENCIES - Fire and rescue, Health, PWD, GIS, Private Sector, Red Cross, DDM, Radio and TV Stations SURVEILLANCE ARRANGEMENTS The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force as part of its overall mandate routinely takes actions to reduce the threat of accidents. Such action include:- inspection for licensing compliance prosecutions for traffic offences issuance of tickets for minor offences public awareness programs ACTIVATION MECHANISM Any agency receiving a report of a mass transport accident should immediately call the emergency hotline 911 at the Fire and Rescue Headquarters. The duty officer receiving the call should attempt to elicit as much information as possible without creating unnecessary details. The ETHANE acronym represents a useful starting point: E - Exact location T - Type of incident H - Hazards 133 A - Access N - Numbers E - Emergency services required The duty officer should then follow internal procedures for alerting the Hospital and the Police immediately. CALL OUT ARRANGEMENTS The RVIP should ensure an immediate response by seeking to have a police presence on the scene by the quickest available methods. The first police officer on the scene will assume the role of incident commander. Fire and Rescue Services should dispatch a team to the scene, conscious that not only may vehicular extraction rescues be required but fire-fighting or HAZMAT response may also be required if gasoline or diesel leaks occur. The Hospital will dispatch its ambulance response team conscious that there may be relatively large number of persons suffering a variety of injuries. The most senior police officer who subsequently arrives on the scene should confer with other agencies and make a determination of the Response Level at which agencies are operating i.e. 2, 3, 4 and 5. If a comparatively small number of persons (5 or less) have been injured and there are no major secondary hazards, then the Response Level is likely to be 2. If the numbers are much larger and secondary hazards greater, then the level could be 3 or 4. A level 5 incident would be a massive event in which a very large number of people were injured. EXECUTION – PRIORITY ACTION SEQUENCE MASS CASUALTY Transport accidents involving large number of people are by definition Mass Casualty Incidents. The details of the National Mass Casualty Plan will not be reproduced here. Some issues will be reproduced here but some matters will be highlighted for ease of reference only. After confirmation of the incident, action should proceed along the lines suggested below:- • Police secure the area and establish a Command Post • Fire and rescue assess hazards e.g. risk of explosion fire etc. • Fire and Rescue begin to safely extricate casualties from vehicle(s) • Casualties are taken to a nearby collection site outside the Hot Zone. • First Responders perform the first triage at the collection point. 134 • Casualties are identified and labeled – o green - uninjured o red - injured o black - dead • While initial on-scene response is taking place, medical personnel are mobilized:- • o Additional staff report to the Hospital or clinics as directed. o A mobile Advanced Medical Post (AMP) team is dispatched to the scene. o The AMP is established near the scene. o A second triage area is established at the AMP. • First responders transfer casualties in the approved fashion from the Collection Point to the AMP. • A medical triage is performed at the AMP. • Stabilization is performed by trained personnel at the AMP. • Appropriate transport is arranged for persons who must be sent to the Hospital immediately. • The Hospital concurrently establishes management arrangements Following the guidelines of its Mass Casualty Response Plan for the receipt and treatment of casualties. • Critically injured patients triaged, RED receives potentially life saving treatment at the AMP before transfer to the hospital. • The AMP manager performs the third triage. • The fourth triage is performed at the Emergency Dept of the hospital. • Less seriously injured continue to receive treatment at the AMP or are transferred to a clinic. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT INVOLVEMENT OF THE NEOC The nature of mass transport accidents is such that it is unlikely that there would be any prior warning that such an event will take place. This means that a decision to activate the NEOC would have to be made after the accident has occurred. Such a decision should be based on a rapid assessment of the situation with the Response Schema as a guide. The NEOC is activated at Response Level 135 3, 4 and 5. All agencies would be expected to follow the appropriate NEOC procedures and communications protocols since activation of the NEOC brings the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) of the NEOC into force. INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM (ICS) No single Response Agency can provide all the resources and expertise necessary to counter any but the most minor incident. In the case of a mass transport accident, agencies must work together well to provide effective, timely and safe responses. The Incident Command System is designed to bring about consistently coordinated responses to incidents. Local Response Agencies continue to receive training in the ICS. Such efforts are continuing on a collaborative basis with the agencies and external partners. A synopsis of the rationale and principles of the ICS has been provided in the HAZMAT plan. Brief information on ICS Facilities is provided here to ensure a common understanding of the ICS command arrangements. ICS FACILITIES The ICS suggests three distinct areas – The Incident Command Post (ICP) Staging Areas Bases The Incident Commander should establish an ICP at every incident. It may be in a vehicle initially in the absence of other suitable facilities. In large incidents or as the incident unfolds, a vehicle will be inadequate. An area which meets the requirements below should be designated – - Outside the hazard area - Within view of the Incident - Restricted to essential personnel only, the ICP should be named and marked in the ICS ICP symbol. The name and location should be communicated to key responders Staging Areas The incident base for resource management – especially vehicles plant and equipment. Staging Areas should:- - Be outside the hazard area but close to operations. - Have separate entrances and exits for response needs 136 - Be large enough to accommodate the resources which will be used. - Be secure. The Staging Area should also be appropriately designated, marked and location communicated to key officials. If an incident is very large and the response is protracted, the Incident Commander may establish additional facilities such as a Base, a Casualty Collection Point, a Camp or a Helispot. BRIEFINGS, UPDATES AND REPORTS The Incident Command System relies on briefings, using standardized formats as a means of ensuring command continuity whenever there are personnel changes or other decision makers arrive on the scene. The demands for briefings and updates will extend well beyond the scene in most incidents. Whenever the NEOC is activated, the procedures are standardized. There is a requirement for briefings and updates whenever there is a response. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION A major mass transport accident would generate curiosity, concern and anxiety through the Territory. If tourists were involved in the incident, interest from overseas, would be enormous. In any mass transport accident, the Incident Commander, Police, Information Officer and the Department of Information and Public Relations need to quickly achieve a consensus on the modus operandi for dealing with the dissemination of timely, relevant and accurate information. Action taken in this regard, should be consistent with the guidelines established under the National Plan e.g. When the NEOC is activated information is disseminated from that location. When the NEOC is not activated the Incident Commander or person designated by the Commander becomes the primary source of information. As far as possible, information is given as written releases clearly attributable to source. Media representatives should not impede ongoing rescue or investigative actions. LAW AND ORDER The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will execute its mandate in this regard. All agencies must be conscious that a mass transport accident could represent a 137 crime scene. The directives given by the Police with regard to protecting and securing evidence must be adhered to by all agencies. A mass transport accident or incident would most likely draw large numbers of unlookers to the scene. The Police would very quickly have to establish procedures for traffic control, especially mechanisms for the rapid entry and exit of emergency vehicles. It is likely also that crowds would gather at Peebles Hospital as well. The Police should therefore ensure the appropriate security arrangements at the hospital. CASUALTY BUREAU If a mass transport accident involved a large number of serious injuries and deaths, a casualty bureau should be established. The Incident Commander should confer with key personnel and make a determination as to the most suitable location for the bureau. If there are large numbers of deaths or injuries among local people, it may be useful to have members of the Crisis Intervention Team present at the bureau to assist relatives, friends and acquaintances to cope with the stress that such tragedies produce. TRACING It is likely that if large numbers of tourists are involved in a mass transport accident, then identification and tracing could become very important. Relatives overseas on hearing of such an incident, would immediately make contact to get information. The Red Cross has been designated the lead agency for Tracing in the Territory. In a mass transport accident involving large numbers of tourists, a collaborative effort would be required among the Red Cross Tourist Board Hotel and Guest-house owners The Immigration Dept. Taxi Associations Tour Operators Shipping Agencies Airport Sea Ports Marine Services Unit 138 COMMUNICATIONS Inter-agency communication would be one of the means of ensuring coordinated actions. The guidelines laid down in the Emergency Telecommunications Plan should be adhered to at all times. HAZARD ASSESSMENT AND RESPONSE A mass transport accident on land, could produce a range of hazards such as the risk of fires and explosions, with resulting risk to response personnel and or collateral risks to the community. Detailed guidelines for responding to incidents involving fires and explosions are provided in the HAZMAT Plan. A few general guidelines for assessing risks and for conducting appropriate responses are included here to promote a common understanding among all agencies. The information reproduced below has been extracted from the HAZMAT Plan. ARRIVAL ON-SCENE The Emergency Response Guidebook for First Responders during the Initial Phase of a Hazardous Material Incidents, offers the advice which is reproduced below: APPROACH CAUTIOUSLY FROM UPWIND Resist the urge to rush in; others cannot be helped until the situation has been fully assessed. SECURE THE SCENE Without entering the immediate hazard area, isolate the area and assure the safety of people and the environment; keep people away from the scene and outside the safety perimeter. Allow enough room to move and remove your own equipment. IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS Placards, container labels, shipping documents, material safety data sheets and knowledgeable persons on the scene are valuable information sources. Evaluate all available information and consult the recommended guide to reduce risks. ASSESS THE SITUATION Consider the following – - Is there a fire, a spill or a leak? - What are the weather conditions? - What is the terrain like? - Who/what is at risk: people; property or the environment? - What actions should be taken: Is evacuation necessary? Is 139 diking necessary? - What resources (human and equipment) are required and a readily available? - What can be done immediately? OBTAIN HELP Advise your headquarters to notify response agencies and call for assistance from qualified personnel. DECIDE ON SITE ENTRY Any effort made to rescue persons, protect property or the environment must be weighed against the possibility that you could become part of the problem. Enter the area only when wearing appropriate protective gear. RESPOND Respond in an appropriate manner. Establish a command post and lines of communication. Rescue casualties where possible and evacuate if necessary. Maintain control of the site. Continually reassess the situation and modify the response accordingly. The first duty is to consider the safety of people in the immediate area, including your own. ABOVE ALL-BE CAREFUL Do not walk into or touch spilled material. Avoid inhalation of fumes, smoke and vapours, even if no dangerous goods are known to be involved. Do not assume that gases or vapours are harmless because of lack of smell – odorless gases or vapours may be harmful. Collect and provide as much information as can safely be obtained. your name and communication contacts location and nature of the problem point of origin container type and size quantity of material transported/released injuries and exposures emergency services that have been notified NOTE: The information provided above is given as a backdrop to an 8 step On- Scene Key Action Response guidelines which are provided in a ready reference form in the HAZMAT Plan. STAND DOWN When the Incident Commander is satisfied that no further Rescue operations or no further Response and Recovery are required on the scene, operations will be stood down. 140 The RVIPF must ensure that any action required to secure the scene after the Rescue, Response and Recovery Operations cease, are taken. The NEOC could still be activated even if operations are stood down at the scene. There must be a clear understanding in such circumstances to avoid confusion. INVOLMENT OF EXTERNAL AGENCIES A major mass transport accident on land would probably require medical evacuations (MEDIVAC). This would require the assistance of medical services in neighbouring countries. The procedures for such MEDIVACS are laid down as part of national – level emergency response. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES The point has already been made that a mass transport accident resulting in many deaths or serious injuries among tourists would present a major challenge for the Territory. It is likely that the entire emergency response would be put under very close scrutiny and the possibility of ligitation becoming a major concern. Further, any “bad publicity” resulting from the handling of the incident, could impact negatively on the tourist industry. This means that in any such incident, the advice of the Attorney General’s Chambers should be sought in all matters relating to the law and legal issues. Limitations in mortuary capacity could represent another major challenge and action would have to be taken expeditiously, if more mortuary space than is normally available, was required. 141 ANNEX 12.2 FIRES INTRODUCTION Fires can arise from a wide range of sources. They occur in the natural as well as the “built” environment. They can arise from natural causes such as lightening or from man-induced causes such as failure of electrical systems. There can be industrial as well as domestic fires; fires in vehicles on land or fires in boats at sea. While the vast majority of fires arise accidentally, some arise from the deliberate, criminal act of arson. One of the major challenges of fires is that they can involve a range of hazardous materials, including explosives and flammable liquids such as gasoline or diesel. Further, many synthetic materials produce toxic gases when they burn. SURVEILLANCE The Road Town Fire Service Headquarters, maintains a 24-hr watch and response capability. There are also fire stations in Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada. The Peter Island Resort provides its own fire response capability. 142 The Road Town Fire Services Headquarters houses the 999 emergency system. ACTIVATION DEPLOYMENT AND INCIDENT COMMAND Responding to fires is a highly specialized activity which is best done by trained fire – fighters. This means that procedures for activation, deployment and incident command all reside with the Fire and Rescue Service. The nature of fires (especially major ones) is such that the Fire and Rescue Service frequently requires the assistance of the RVI Police Force for matters such as crowd and traffic control, general security and subsequent investigations. In major incidents, the range of agencies which could be required to assist, grows and includes those previously listed. INTERFACE WITH OTHER AGENCIES If the National Alert and Response Schema guidelines are followed, then the decision as to the time that other agencies become involved in a fire response will be (to a great extent) standardized. The activation of the NEOC would take place at a Level Three(3) Response and above. It must be emphasized that if a major fire results in the activation of the NEOC, there will still be a need for a continuing on-scene response. This means that communication between the Incident Commander and the NEOC, will assume great significance. It is accepted that in a major incident, the Incident Command System governs inter-agency actions. RESPONSE MANAGEMENT The Fire and Rescue Services have detailed guidelines for responding to fires in their “Brigade Operational Memoranda”. These include guidelines for:- Fires involving bulk quantities of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Fires aboard ship in ports “Off-shore” firefighting Fires involving fuel Salvage procedures Safety procedure The information contained in the Operational Memoranda and other manuals is not duplicated here. 143 RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead by Mandate: - Fire and Rescue Services Overall coordination: - “ Lead for on-scene Response “ Incident command “ SUPPORTING AGENCIES RVI Police Force Health Services Water and Sewerage Department Department of Information and Public Relations Private sector – water processors and distributors Department of Disaster Management Electricity Corporation ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES – CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH RESPONSE TO FIRES PRE EVENT EVENT POST EVENT BVI Fire Training of staff Receipt of distress Secondary hazard Rescue and other agencies calls assessment Services Inspections Counter measures Reporting Public awareness Incident command Investigations programmes Hazard Incident review Enforcement of assessment regulations Search and rescue Drills and exercises Information Sourcing of dissemination equipment and supplies Communications with other agencies Expert advice Briefings Preparation of response 144 guidelines RVI Police Surveillance Crowd control Investigations Force Incident reporting Evacuation Incident review management Distress calls Traffic control Alerting Fire Services Site security Preparation of Communication response with other agencies guidelines Communication Incident debrief Health Services Training of staff with other agencies and reporting and volunteer personnel Medical response Sourcing of Mass casualty equipment and response if supplies necessary Drills and exercises Information dissemination Expert advice Incident debrief Department of Report to Incident and reporting Information and Public awareness Commander if Public campaigns required on scene Relations Staff training Manage dissemination of public information Briefings Incident debrief Stand by to assist Department of Public awareness in sourcing Incident reports if Disaster additional required 145 Management Logistical and resources if admin support for required training Communication with other agencies Briefings NEOC activation if required Coordinating external agencies if required FIELD AND SITE RELATED ACTIONS As with all major incidents, a range of actions must be carried out to execute an effective response to a major fire. These include:- On-site counter measures Incident command procedures Search and Rescue operations Emergency medical response Risk and vulnerability assessment Secondary hazard assessment Precautionary evacuations Crowd control Traffic control Law and order and security arrangements Information dissemination Reporting and briefings Evidence collection and investigations Communications The on-site counter measures fall within the “specialist” orbit of the Fire and Rescue Services. The other actions generally fall within the mandates of lead and support agencies. Guidelines have been provided in the National Disaster Management Plan as well as the NEOC Plan and the HAZMAT Plan. The principles embodied in those guidelines remain relevant and should not require reproduction here. 146 STANDING DOWN The Incident Commander will exercise the necessary judgement as to when operations should be stood down. PROTECTION OF RESPONSE PERSONNEL Fires can expose firefighters to grave risks. The risks include the possibility of burns and being overcome by smoke and toxic fumes to other risks such as explosions, building collapse and contamination through contact with toxic or biological agents. Protection of Response Personnel must be a priority of the Incident Commander. Matters such as appropriate protective gear and breathing apparatus, appropriate equipment and safe means of exit must always be considered. MASS CASUALTY A major fire could result in a large number of casualties. The challenge for the National Emergency Response System, is that any incident involving more than 3 or 4 casualties, could overwhelm the Hospital facilities. Further, limitations in specialist burn-treatment facilities, could also present a major challenge. This means that arrangements must be in place for off-Territory MEDIVAC of mass casualties resulting from a fire. INVOLVEMENT OF EXTERNAL AGENCIES Fires require immediate responses. Given the time lag that is inevitable for the arrival of any overseas agencies, it seems such involvement would be under very unusual circumstances. The scenarios that come to mind, are fires aboard a cruise ship or a fire at a bulk fuel facility. Given the levels of cooperation which exist between the British and US Virgin Islands, the initial involvement of any external agencies would probably be from those based in St. Thomas. Depending on the nature of the incident (such as a cruise ship fire) then the assistance could be sought from the US Coast Guard in Puerto Rico as well. 147 ANNEX 12.3 MASS GATHERING EMERGENCIES, ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS Note: A comprehensive Mass Gathering Plan already exists. It was developed by the Ministry of Health. INTRODUCTION Mass gathering incidents are unusual in that difficulties and risks can often be traced to deliberate human acts. These include:- • careless smoking • overbooking of stands • overcrowding of grounds • fighting and other violent behaviour • poor entry and exit control • panic and stampeding • rumours (about possible dangers at the site) • threats of violence • poor construction of stands and ancillaries • poor traffic control • poor security arrangements • bomb threats • Acts of terrorism Secondary hazards such as building collapse and fires, allied to the behavioural patterns outlined above, can combine to produce very dangerous situations. Occurrences such as vehicular accidents in a crowd of people or electrical fires in places of entertainment, can give rise to mass gathering emergencies. RELATED PHENOMENA Spontaneous mass gatherings are rare. People usually come together in large numbers for a specific purpose, at a particular venue and at a specified time. 148 In the BVI these events vary from educational events such as graduations, to a whole host of sporting events, social and cultural activities such as the annual Festival (Carnival); the Music Festival or horse racing, rallies, political meetings, Fisherman’s Day celebrations, regattas etc. EFFECTS Mass gatherings have the potential to generate a host of injuries and ailments, which, in extreme cases can lead to death. These include impact and crush injuries, puncture wounds, burns, dismemberment, abraisions and dehydration. IMPLICATIONS OF A MAJOR EVENT Mass gatherings have the potential to rapidly escalate into mass casualty incidents in which scores of people could be hurt. Further, most events are likely to include visitors as well as residents. There are many potential negative implications of a mass casualty incident involving visitors. This is extremely important for the Territory, because it relies heavily on tourism. It is likely that any but the smallest of incidents (involving 3 or 4 serious injuries or less) would require external assistance with regard to medivac and trauma response. It is also possible that the government could be made a ligitant by persons seeking compensation after a mass gathering emergency. SPECIAL RISKS AND VULNERABILITIES The specific risks and vulnerabilities within the Territory relative to mass gatherings arise from the following – Limited facilities for dealing with mass casualties. The prevalence of marine craft and marine events attracting large numbers of participants and spectators relative to response capacity. Several “bottlenecks” in road traffic along the major roadways. Limited facilities on the Sister islands for dealing with medical emergencies of any kind. Relatively small numbers of persons trained as Emergency Medical Technicians. The centralized nature of emergency medical and trauma facilities. Public complacency with regards to safety issues. 149 Limited facilities suitable for use as advanced medical posts. MITIGATION STRATEGIES A range of mitigation strategies can be used to reduce the potential negative impacts and risks associated with mass gatherings. Several of the non-structural techniques apply to other hazards. STRUCTURAL • The design, location and layout of major public facilities such as schools, churches, cultural centers and recreational facilities. • Retrofitting of public facilities to ensure appropriate provisions have been made for preventing and combating fires – o Easy exit of large numbers in an emergency o Fire alarm systems and smoke detectors o Fire exits o Use of fire retardant and resistant materials o Appropriate signage NON-STRUCTRAL Comprehensive legislation for the staging of events. Legislation and enforcement of building codes to ensure compliance with provisions of relevant laws. Public awareness and educational campaigns. Retention of building plans for public facilities by Fire and Rescue and Police. Training and exercising in matters such as mass casualty management, Search and Rescue in collapsed buildings Incident Command etc. Emergency Response standardized checklists. PREPAREDNESS PRIORITIES One of the most important preparedness priorities for mass gatherings, is event-planning. As far as possible, organizers of 150 events should be required not only to inform Emergency Response agencies but to have planning sessions specifically focused on safety and emergency response. Where practicable, prepositioning of assets such as a Fire tender and ambulance should be considered. Two individuals from among the organizers of major events should be designated safety liaison persons to ensure that pre- event recommendations have been carried out or that emergency services can be contacted without delay. If practical, a handheld radio should be loaned to a safety liaison person to ensure that emergency personnel can be contacted without delay. There should be a clear understanding of which entrances and exits are to be used by emergency services vehicles in the event of an incident. The Police should ensure appropriate arrangements for traffic flow and parking to minimize blockages to entrances and exits as well as free movement of emergency vehicles if necessary. The Health Department should ensure that all key staff are aware that a mass gathering function is taking place and the appropriate standby arrangements put in place. RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Lead Agency by mandate - RVI Police Force Lead for overall coordination - RVI Police Force Lead for on-scene Response - Health Sector Agencies; RVI Police Force; Fire and Rescue Services (See Primary Roles and Responsibility) Incident Command - RVI Police Force INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE FOR RESPONSE Mass casualty emergencies generally occur without warning and are location and incident specific. This suggests that the Incident Command System (ICS) is well suited to such incidents. What is required, is a timely and effective response. Time must not be lost in establishing the Administrative elements of an ICS, to the detriment of casualties and persons at risk. 151 PRIMARY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The roles and responsibilities devolve from agency mandates and their roles in emergency response. A number of action areas with specific reference to Preparedness and Response will be highlighted below. 152 PRE-EVENT EVENT IMMEDIATE POST Fire and Site inspections and Alerting of other Briefings Rescue recommendations to agencies organizers Incident review Search and Training of staff and Rescue Submission of reports preparation of guidelines Firefighting if necessary Communication with other agencies Site inspections and Briefings RVI Police recommendations to Force organizers Maintenance of Investigations security presence Training of staff and Submissions of preparations of Preventative reports guidelines actions Incident review Interventions as required Information Specialist advice to dissemination organizers Briefings Health Services Site inspections if Emergency Follow up care necessary medical response Incident review Training of staff Mass casualty response if Submission of reports Development of necessary guidelines for staff and public Arrangements for medivac if necessary Communication with other agencies 153 Development of plans and guidelines Incident review for staff Department of Submission of reports Information Public safety campaigns in Dissemination of collaboration with Staff to report to additional information other agencies Incident if necessary Commander if required Work with Incident Commander to disseminate public Development of information Assist as directed by guidelines and Incident Commander Red Cross training of Red Briefings to media or Health rep. Cross volunteers First aid volunteers if practical ROUTINE MONITOING ARRANGEMENTS A system should be set up in which the owners/caretakers of major venues and the organizers of events (despite any long term pre-event planning) confirm the dates, venue and time of any major function. This should include schools and the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Cutural Centre. The confirmation should be provided to the Police. The police should develop a single standardized mechanism (e.g. pre- formatted fax sheet) for ensuring that the Fire and Rescue Services, the Department of Health (Hospital); the Department of Disaster Management, the Red Cross, the Marine Services Unit and VISAR (if there are marine implications) are informed in a timely manner. SURVEILLANCE If the venue and circumstances of a particular event are new, the Police and Fire should jointly conduct a rapid appraisal and inform other key agencies of any particular concerns ideally, before the event has started. The RVIPF should ensure an adequate Police presence at all mass gathering events. 154 ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS Mass gathering incidents will probably not provide notice. This means that all such events will probably be immediately classified as an Alert Level 5 i.e. a no notice event. The Response Level on the other hand, will be determined by the nature of the incident and the circumstances. It could be any level from 1 (involving a single agency response) to 5 – a truly devastating, disastrous event requiring substantial external assistance. GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT The point has already been made that from a Response standpoint, mass gathering incidents are best responded to under the ICS framework. Priority must be given to casualties, persons at risk in the immediate vicinity and persons at risk through secondary hazards such as traffic accidents. It is obvious that in a major event, critical decisions may have to be taken before the NEOC can be activated. The decisions will most likely revolve around medical response and security issues. This means that the most senior Police Officer and Medical Officer available would be required to make such decisions. Matters relating to communications, information dissemination, debriefing and after-action reporting would be expected to follow the guidelines already laid down for the National Disaster Management Plan. SITE RELATED ACTIONS As with all incidents which rely on the ICS for an effective response, there are common management issues. The information provided below, applicable to all site – specific incidents, is intended to reduce decision-making time and thus enhance the timeliness of the Response. DIRECTION Every mass gathering incident requires leadership and direction in various ways and on several levels. This implies that persons with the requisite, undisputed and unchallenged authority to take decisions must be available. Such persons are required to control, guide, lead, manage and supervise the actions of all agencies. Every incident is different and decisions will be required specifically for that incident. Decisions will be required along the following lines:- o What kind of response is required? o How should it be carried out? o Which agencies are required? 155 o When should operations start and end? o What resources are required from which agencies? o Are further precautionary actions like evacuation required? o What adjustments are required to existing guidelines and procedures? As in the case of COORDINATION, DIRECTION is required on and off the scene and may be required at the level of involvement of External agencies. There are 3 functionaries with primary responsibilities for operational direction. These are the Incident Commander – as determined by lead response; the Director of the Disaster Management Department and the Director of the NEOC. On-scene direction falls to the Incident Commander while Territory-wide direction falls to the DDM when a multi-agency response is required but the NEOC is not activated. When the NEOC is activated, Territory-wide Coordination and that of External Agencies falls to the Director of the NEOC (Deputy Governor). Since DIRECTION is a general and also a hazard specific function, each of these Key Functionaries should have Standard Operating Procedures to guide their actions. Such guidelines already exist in many agencies and for the NEOC. It is vital that there is strict observance of the limits of authority at the scene and away from it, to ensure an effective response. BRIEFINGS, UPDATES AND REPORTS The Incident Command System relies on briefings, using standardized formats as a means of ensuring command continuity whenever there are personnel changes or other decision makers arrive on the scene. The demands for briefings and updates will extend well beyond the scene in most incidents. Whenever the NEOC is activated, the procedures are standardized. There is a requirement for briefings and updates whenever there is a response. GUIDELINES In all responses, higher than a Level 1 Response, all key agencies should maintain logs which record messages and information sent and received. The agency should maintain standard formats for particular logs. Important decisions taken and follow-up actions being executed should also be recorded. In Responses at Level 3 and above, the NEOC is activated. The NEOC SOP’s have a detailed system of information management. All agencies should ensure that their internal procedures are harmonized with the NEOC SOP’s. REPORTS The requirements for written reports vary according to the seventy of the impact and or the socio/economic or political significance of the incident. 156 Responses at Level 1 will probably require only a Lead Agency report which can be subsequently copied to the Director, Disaster Management. At Response Levels 2 through 5 a wide variety of reports will be required. All agencies should establish the requisite reporting formats within their Standing Operating Procedures or Operational Orders. The timing of written reports is crucial. There should be no inordinate delays in submitting the requisite reports. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES Mass gathering incidents can generate a variety of special circumstances, the most obvious is a large number of casualties and possibility deaths. This implies that the procedures for such an eventuality should be a integral part of the Mass Casualty Plan. The Mass Casualty Plan already caters for Mass Gathering Incidents. Procedures for dealing with large numbers of deaths should be appropriately researched and the guidelines promulgated. Several of the mass gathering events in the Territory have a major marine component. This means that appropriate SAR arrangements for sea must also form a part of overall preparedness. A large influx of visitors, introduces the additional challenge of “tracing” in the event of a major incident. This is likely to remain a difficulty unless drastic measures are implemented related to registration and location specific information for casual visitors for events. That approach is impractical. It must be remembered that mass gathering incidents are potential or actual crime scenes. This means that efforts should be made to ensure the proper procedures for the preservation, collection and custody of evidence. Since this is a highly specialised area of Response, it is recommended that the directions of the Police are followed at all times. STANDING DOWN The Incident Commander will make a determination of the most appropriate time. POST EVENT Any major mass gathering incident is likely to result in an official enquiry especially if there has been significant loss of life. All agencies should ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of all facts surrounding the incident and that all necessary internal briefings have occurred. It is important too that each incident be reviewed to examine ways in which plans, guidelines and Response capability should be improved. 157 ANNEX 12.4 TERRORIST INCIDENTS INTRODUCTION The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population,, or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives”. The terrorists attack on the World Trade Centre in the United States on September 11, 2001 suggests that terrorists have the capacity to strike anywhere in the world. There is obviously a very close relationship between any actions to prevent, eliminate and control terrorism and national security. It is obvious that no details referring to national security arrangements from intelligence, through surveillance to response can be reproduced here. This annex is intended principally to remind all emergency personnel of the “possibility” of terrorist attacks and to provide the background information which will be useful in the development of agency training programs and operational guidelines. The information presented here, draws heavily on FEMA document USFA/NFA ERT:SS Lead Agency - RVI Police Force Supporting Agencies - BVI Fire & Rescue, HM Customs, Health Dept., GIS, Red Cross, DDM, VISAR, Marine Service, Civil Aviation, Port Authority, Marine Services, Private Sector Agencies VULNERABILITY Any society is vulnerable to terrorism because all societies have targets. Targets include:- people critical facilities mass transport systems tourist and other visitors 158 telecommunication systems historic or cultural symbols high profile mass gatherings Terrorism causes first responders to have to deal with risks beyond those generated by “accidents” or acts of nature. Terrorists engage in criminal acts intended to inflict pain and injuries or cause death, even if a terrorist dies in the execution of the act. Incidents have occurred in which acts are sequenced to inflict harm on first responders after an initial attack. It is thought that the terrorists, ultimately want to induce a perpetual state of panic among the affected population. CATEGORIES OF TERRORIST INCIDENTS There are five (5) broad classes of terrorist acts – - Biological - Nuclear - Incendiary - Chemical - Explosive BIOLOGICAL INCIDENTS Several biological agents can be and have been adapted for use as weapons of terrorism these include: - Anthrax - Tularemia – rabbit fever - Cholera - Encephalitis - The plague - Botulism Biological agents have the potential for rapid spread with devastating consequences. They may be disseminated through aerosols, in food, in water of other liquids, transmission through the mail or direct contact with contaminated surfaces. There are four common biological agents – • Bacteria e.g. anthrax, tularemia, cholera and Plague • Rickettsia (smaller than bacteria e.g. Q fever and live outside host cells) • Viruses (do not live long e.g. small pox, ebola and equine outside a host) encephalitis 159 • Toxins – are of natural origin e.g. botulism and ricin which is derived from castor bean plant NUCLEAR INCIDENTS Nuclear facilities are being kept under greater and greater security but there is increasing concern that terrorists could get hold of nuclear devices and use them in acts of terrorism. Defensive strategies for the BVI against a nuclear threat are a matter of high national security in which the British Government takes the lead at the international level. INCENDIARY INCIDENTS Incendiary devices can be mechanical, electrical or chemical. They are used intentionally to start fires. Devices may be used to control a sequence of fires. Devices can be simple or complex. Incendiary devices discovered prior to ignition, should only be handled by trained personnel. CHEMICAL INCIDENTS Chemical incidents can arise from the use of: Nerve agents which disrupt the functioning of the nervous system e.g. sarin gas Blister agents which cause severe burns to the skin or respiratory tract e.g. mustard gas Blood agents which affect the ability of the blood to transport oxygen e.g. hydrogen cyanide Choking agents which make breathing difficult e.g. chlorine Irritants which produce respiratory distress and “tearing” of the eyes e.g. tear gas, Mace and pepper spray GENERAL ADVICE FOR RESPONDING TO POSSIBLE TERRORIST INCIDENTS Treat the incident as a potential crime scene: o Coordinate closely with all first responders o Do not destroy evidence 160 o Observe any warning signs of further criminal activity o Recognize, collect and preserve physical evidence o Observe carefully, since your eyewitness account could become an important part of the investigation Wear appropriate gear for responding to a HAZMAT scene. Approach as you would for a HAZMAT incident Only trained personnel should enter or secure a scene. Do not hesitate to call for persons with greater training or experience if necessary. Follow recommended decontamination procedures. Beware of the presence of secondary devices which could be targeted specifically at first responders Beware of the hazards associated with buildings made unsafe by an event. If possible, take careful notes or commit details to paper as quickly as possible after an incident. Remember that a single incident could present several hazards. Before making any kind of response, you should evaluate the types of hazards involved and use the most appropriate response methods available. INCIDENT MANAGEMENT Employ the principles and procedures of the Incident Command System (ICS) Be logical and systematic o Size up the situation o Evaluate risks o Establish priorities o Forecast the likely outcome o Set specific operational objectives Use a standardized method of analysis such as GEDAPER o G - gather information o E - estimate course and harm o D - determine strategic goals o A - assess tactical options and resources o P - plan and implement actions o E - evaluate o R - review and reassess 161 Information which has been provided in the National Preparedness and Response Plan and the NEOC Standing Operating Procedures with regard to: - information dissemination - communications - emergency medical responses - precautionary evacuations - crowd control - traffic control - law and order and security arrangements briefings - mass casualty management - involvement of external agencies Illnesses resulting from biological agents have the potential to progress rapidly through a population. Curative treatments are required before definitive laboratory results are obtained. Injuries and illness resulting from a terrorist incident would most likely generate a MASS CASUALTY incident and require a MASS CASUALTY RESPONSE. NATIONAL ALERT It is likely that an incident in which there was credible information of a terrorist attack would cause the declaration of an Alert Level 5 or National General Alert. It is also assumed that there would be a Level 3 Response and hence the probability that the NEOC would be activated. The assumption is made that the incident itself would not make such activation impossible. 162 ANNEX 12.5 EPIDEMICS The UNDP’s publication “an Overview of Disaster Management” describes an epidemic as “exposure to a toxin resulting in a pronounced rise in the number of cases of parasitic or infectious origin. Epidemics usually arise from situations such as:- - unsanitary conditions - extreme poverty - overcrowding in inadequate facilities - migration of infected persons - contamination of water or food supplies Epidemics are debilitating among populations and in extreme cases can lead to a large number of deaths. Strategies for preventing and coping with epidemics rely on strong leadership from the Health Sector. The specific details of Preparedness and Response actions for epidemics are catered for in the Health Sector Emergency Management Plan. 163 ANNEX 12.6 BOMB THREATS INTRODUCTION One of the lessons which was learnt after the terrorist attacks in Washington, DC and New York on September 11, 2001, is that no country should regard itself as being immune from terrorism. One of the challenges for small communities like the BVI, is to improve national security without appearing to destroy many of the treasured characteristics of “small island life”. This means that much work must be done by the Police and security agencies to provide the highest level of security possible, within the constraints naturally imposed by the small size of the Territory and the openness of the economy. The bomb threats which have been made in the Territory to date, (November, 2002) have all turned out to be hoaxes. The fact remains that vigilance must be maintained in case credible and genuine threats are made in future. PREPAREDNESS The point has already been made that the Police must carry out a lot of behind the scenes intelligence activities which can not be highlighted in a public document such as this. There are indeed scenarios which although they may be regarded as low probability events, could result in explosions caused by bombs or other flammable or inciudiary materials. 164 The obvious targets for any possible attacks are critical facilities and locations or events where large numbers of people gather. It must be borne in mind that coastal or marine locations are also possible targets. General preparedness should therefore focus on - training for key personnel in dealing with bombs and related devices - routine security arrangements for critical facilities - coordination of inter-agency plans for response - call-down arrangements with external experts and emergency responders - mass casualty arrangements - training for medical personnel who could be called upon to respond to victims of actual bombings - training of front office personnel to elicit as much information as possible from callers with “bomb threats” Note: A standardized information sheet is included in the appendices - strategies for the protection of key personnel during times of high alert - strategies for “secure” communication among key officials - plans for counselling of persons who experience bomb threats - All major public and private sector entities should be encouraged to develop evacuation plans and conduct evacuation drills. RESPONSE GUIDELINES ACTIVATION OF RESPONSE MECHANISMS Any indication of a bomb threat will generate an Alert Level 5. This means that agencies will be expected to respond immediately. All agencies and the general public, must be advised that any such calls should be referred to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force(RVIPF). The RVIPF will then follow its internal procedures for activation and response. The RVIPF must ensure however that other key agencies such as the Fire and Rescue, Health, Department of Disaster Management and the Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS) are informed. The Department of Disaster Management will inform the Deputy Governor who will then inform Executive Council GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT The primary response to a bomb threat is evacuation of the location. This means that the Police must confer with the person in charge of any threatened location and a decision taken with regard to the timing of evacuation procedures. 165 Evacuations as far as possible, should follow established procedures and recommended practices such as a centralized assembly point at a safe distance and accounting quickly for all evacuees. All bomb threats should be treated as incidents requiring the use of the INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM (ICS). HAZARD AND RISK ASSESSMENT The RVIPF will make a rapid assessment of hazards and risks to determine whether an immediate search for the device is advisable. In the event that such a decision is taken, the RVIPF, Fire and Rescue, Health and other support agencies will follow the guidelines of Incident Command under the directions of the Police. If investigations reveal no credible threat to public safety, then an “All Clear” will pronounced by the Incident Commander and reentry and reoccupancy permitted. If the Incident Commander determines that the threat is credible, then investigations will only be carried out by specialists. It may be necessary to seek specialist assistance from the US Virgin Islands in the case of suspected, credible threats. At all stages, great emphasis must be placed on promoting public safety and safety of Response personnel. Should an actual explosion occur which (it is suspected) was caused by a bomb, then the guidelines for responses to fires and explosions will automatically become relevant: • Search and Rescue • Emergency medical response and mass casualty management • Crowd and traffic control • Law and order and security arrangements • Information dissemination • On-site counter measures • Involvement of external agencies NOTE: Bomb threats on board aircrafts and cruise ships are of great concern and require response procedures which the critical Response agencies have developed which will not be reproduced here. POST EVENT Every bomb threat whether credible or not, requires investigation. The RVIPF will lead investigations with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice. In the event of an actual incident, major enquiries will be launched. 166 It is vital, that the lessons learnt from any bomb threats be incorporated in the Preparedness and Response arrangements of key agencies. Every incident must therefore be clearly and comprehensively documented and reviewed for future planning. ANNEX 13.0 ALERT AND RESPONSE LEVELS – A GUIDE TO COORDINATED AND EFFICIENT EMERGENCY PREPARATIONS AND RESPONSE INTRODUCTION Some hazards such as hurricanes, tropical storms and weather systems may announce themselves several days before possible impact in the BVI. This lends itself well to the concept of graded alerts along a continuum from the lowest level to the highest level, i.e., from a remote possibility of impact to a high probability (almost certainty) of impact. However, there are other hazards such as earthquakes, explosions, fires and mass transport incidents which may provide no warning. Graded alert and response levels allow efficient preparations and responses that are appropriate to each situation. The schema shown below is intended as a guide to assist Disaster Managers and Emergency Officials to make a phased response to any hazard impact or determine through rapid assessment, the level of Alert or Response that best suits the situation. This approach is designed to eliminate the “all or nothing” approach to incident management in which only the worse case scenario is planned for or all resources are put on standby immediately. 167 Built into each level of Alert or Response is the potential to upgrade to a higher level through monitoring and rapid assessment. The Alert and Response levels begin at 1 the lowest and continue to 5 the highest. It must be remembered that by definition, an alert comes before a response because some warning has been provided, when there is no warning in conceptual terms, there is no alert. However, it must be realized that in a sudden impact, no- notice event, there will be a time lag, no matter how brief between the event and an organized response. Further, there can be situations in which there is imminent danger posed by uncertain circumstances. Alert level 5 has been used to cater for such circumstances. In general the Alert Phases relate to a lead time before impact but the determination of the level of alert should be based on the indicators of the situation rather than a rigid consideration of a time frame. The basic principle is that the levels can be adjusted upwards or downwards on the basis of rapid assessment of the circumstances. NOTE: All references to EOC apply to the National Emergency Operations Centre – NEOC at the Department of Disaster Management. ALERT LEVELS PHASE INDICATORS RECOMMENDED KEY ACTIONS LEVEL ALERT 1 Notice of a possible hazard • Agency receiving initial impact which may take report or warning to inform several days to develop into DDM without delay, whether a real threat. The threat may within working hours or not. either disappear or persist as time passes. • DDM to monitor the situation - This level of alert could be by liaising with all relevant maintained if the anticipated local and external agencies. hazard impact is minimal. • DDM to ensure that all key officials and agencies are informed. • Agencies to conduct initial briefings and conduct 168 preliminary readiness checks. • Deputy Governor to confirm Alert Level 1. • GIS to publicize Alert Level 1 if necessary. • Lead agency to conduct initial investigation if practicable. • Monitoring by DDM to determine whether Level 2 is indicated. ALERT 2 Warning of a possible hazard • DDM to continue monitoring impact which may develop the situation. as a real threat within 48 hours but could still • DDM to ensure all key disappear at this time or a officials and agencies are few hours later. Impact aware of the situation or though appears far more change in status. likely than at Alert Level 1 but not likely to be • Director, Disaster devastating if it does occur. Management to recommend to Deputy Governor promulgation of Alert Level 2. • Deputy Governor to confirm alert level. • Department of Information and Public Relations to publicize Alert Level 2. • Director, Disaster Management to inform key agencies and Officials of alert Level 2. • DDM to carry out readiness checks for possible NEOC Activation and National level 169 Emergency Response actions. • Agencies to carry out more detailed readiness checks for possible NEOC activation and Emergency Response actions. RECEE’s conducted if possible. • NEEC to meet. • Key officials briefed and requested to remain in contact with DDM. ALERT 3 Warning that a hazard could All actions recommended at ALERT materialize into an impact Level 2 should have been within 36 hours or less. The completed or are nearing potential exists for the threat completion. to increase in significance from ALERT 2 and a hazard • Director, Disaster impact now seems highly Management to recommend probable. ALERT Level 3 to Deputy Governor. There is still a chance that impact may not occur. • Deputy Governor to confirm Activation of the NEOC Level 3. imminent. • DDM to confirm Level 3 to If impact does occur, it could key agencies and officials. be severe. • GIS to publicize Level 3 Alert. • DDM to complete all internal readiness arrangements for activation of the NEOC. • All agencies to complete readiness checks and preparations for Emergency Response actions and standby for likely NEOC activation. 170 • Detailed RECEE’s by multi- agency team if possible. • Monitoring by DDM to determine whether Level 4 is indicated. ALERT 4 Warning that a hazard Agency receiving initial warning (if impact could occur within 24 not DDM) should quickly verify hours or less or an existing report and inform DDM and Lead hazard impact is rapidly Agency whether during working escalating in size, scope or hours or not. degree and extent of damage. • DDM to confer with deputy Governor and recommend It is now likely that the ALERT LEVEL 4 and NEOC impact will not be averted. Activation. NOTE: The warning could • Deputy Governor to confirm, be just a few minutes to 24 brief His Excellency the hrs. Governor and Chief Minister on activation of the NEOC. If impact does occur, devastating effects are • NEOC to be activated in anticipated. accordance with NEOC SOP’s. • Response Agencies to initiate or continue Emergency Response preparations in accordance with hazard specific guidelines and Standing Orders. • GIS to publicize ALERT Level 4. • Briefings to External agencies begin. • Multi-agency RECEE to be conducted if it is safe to do so. • Monitoring by DDM to determine whether alert 5 is 171 indicated NATIONAL A hazard impact which has • Agency receiving first report GENERAL occurred without precursor (if not DDM) to ensure DDM ALERT activity, notice or warning. It and Lead Agency informed may or may not impact a without delay whether impact 5 (i) large area. Damage may be has occurred during working extensive and light or hours or not. intensive but restricted. There could be huge • Director, Disaster variations in casualties from Management to activate none to many. The social, NEOC on consultation with economic or political impact Deputy Governor – if may or may not coincide with practical based on nature of the geographical extent of impact, extent of damage impact. Economic loses are indicated or reported and likely to be great. Social ease of access to NEOC dislocation is great. National location. Alternate NEOC Disaster could be declared. should be considered if necessary. Secondary hazards are likely and may suddenly appear • If NEOC not activated from a Level 4 situation. Director, Disaster Management to assume overall responsibility for off- scene coordination activities. • Lead Agency to respond and assume responsibility for on- scene coordination using ICS Principles. • Director, Disaster Management to confirm ALERT Level 5 with Deputy Governor. • GIS to publicize ALERT Level 5 or Emergency Broadcast to be made by Director, Disaster Management. • Director, Disaster Management to ensure all agencies aware of Level 5 172 Status or change to Level 5 Status. 5 (ii) NATIONAL GENERAL • Executive Council to ALERT confer and confirm General alert Status. A perceived imminent danger posed by • Director, Disaster circumstances which are Management to ensure uncertain but could that all key agencies are materialize into a major aware of status. threat to the safety and security of the Territory and • DDM to confer with its people. Effects could Deputy Governor as soon lead to National Disaster in as information received. an extreme case. DG to refer to ExCo through HE the Governor. The nature and level of Response required remains • Advice on threat to be unclear because of a given to the public if shortage of specific possible. information or the unknown characteristics of the • Executive Council to set hazard. up special monitoring Task Force (composition depending on nature of perceived threat). • All agencies to activate full standby procedures with regard to personnel, equipment and facilities. 173 RESPONSE LEVELS This framework is intended to guide actions after a hazard impact. Recommended actions must be seen as Response and not Preparedness actions. All references to Lead Agency are to the Lead Agency by Response. RESPONSE INDICATORS RECOMMENDED KEY RESPONSE ACTIONS LEVEL 1 Localized single hazard • Agency receiving initial incident impacting a very report to inform lead agency small area or a small number (if different). of units on land or sea. Secondary hazards a • Lead Agency to confirm possibility but are remote. report and dispatch Response Team. Effective response can be mounted by available • Director, Disaster personnel, assets and other Management to be informed. resources primarily from the Lead Agency. • Lead Agency responds and communicates with its own Headquarters if additional resources or assets are needed. • Director, Disaster Management monitors if during normal working hours. • Director, Disaster Management remains in contact with Lead Agency. On-scene coordination by Lead Agency following ICS principles. Monitoring by Incident de Commander to determine if ted. Lead Agency to complete 174 routine report. LEVEL 2 Larger geographical area • Agency receiving report (if affected than in Level 1 not Lead Agency) to inform Response. Number of units Lead Agency and Director, impacted or threatened Disaster Management. greater than one or two. Many more persons at risk. • Larger scale response Secondary hazards a distinct needed than Level 1. possibility but not observed or likely. • Lead Agency to make immediate response or Casualties and injuries likely. upgrade on-scene response to Level 2. Urgent Medical response a priority. • Lead Agency to request assistance directly from While Lead Agency retains other agencies through its primary responsibility, own headquarters. several other agencies involved at the scene. • On-scene coordination still to follow ICS Principles. • Director, Disaster Management to confer with Deputy Governor and place NEOC on standby. • DDM to determine composition of NEOC pre- activation team. • NEOC pre-activation team to take up posts. • Director, Disaster Management to lead off- scene coordination. • External agencies briefed. • Lead Agency to complete report and copy to DDM. • Director, Disaster Management to keep NEOC 175 in readiness for activation or until stood down or_____________. LEVEL 3 Large scale incident on land • Agency receiving report to or sea involving relatively confirm and inform Lead large numbers of victims or Agency (if different). persons at risk. Secondary hazards likely and may • Agency receiving report to already be imminent or confer with Director, evident. Disaster Management. • Director, Disaster • Multi-hazard impact Management to assume over a wide area. responsibility for activation of the NEOC. • Major disruptions to essential services, • Agency representatives to governmental report to the NEOC. services, economic and social activities • Emergency Response have occurred or are agencies to respond without imminent. delay or escalate activities to Level 3 if already • Significant threat to responding. the natural environment. • Director NEOC to provide executive Council level • Large numbers of briefings. victims or affected persons likely. • All agencies to complete reports and copy to DDM when stood down. • DDM to prepare initial written briefing report and subsequently After Action Report for Executive Council. • DDM to coordinate incident debrief. • Monitoring by Incident Commander Director, Disaster Management and NEOC director to determine if Level 4 is indicated. 176 LEVEL 4 Major hazard impact has • NEOC to be fully activated or occurred. remain activated since impact justifies activation. Extensive damage reported or likely. Disruption to • Executive Council to essential services, economic consider declaration of Local and commercial activities or National disaster. obvious and widespread. • All agencies to follow Many persons threatened by National Plan, NEOC SOP’s secondary hazards or made and their own agency vulnerable by impact. guidelines for National Response. Damage may still not be Territory-wide. • Director, Disaster Management to ensure If casualties have occurred external agencies kept specialist assistance is updated. needed. • Director of NEOC to ensure External assistance in continuous Executive specialist areas required Council Level briefings. initially. • Some emergency powers may be employed. All agencies to complete reports as in Level 3 Response. Monitoring as above to determine if Level 5 is indicated. LEVEL 5 An officially declared • Director of NEOC National Disaster because of recommend declaration of a widespread damage, National Disaster. destruction and dislocation. Major infrastructure • His Excellency the Governor economic, social and to declare National Disaster. environmental impact. Long NEOC remains activated. period of Rehabilitation and Recovery likely. • Director, Disaster Management to ensure The impact may or may not external agencies kept have resulted in casualties. updated. If it does, specialized 177 overseas care likely. • His Excellency the Governor External technical assistance to activate response in several areas will probably arrangements with be required for an extended HMG/CHAD. period. • Lead and support agencies to continue Emergency Response Actions. • Urgent external assistance to be sought in specialist areas if required. • Impact assessments completed. Damage and Needs Assessment initiated. Official requests for external assistance launched. • Director, Disaster Management to prepare for Relief and Rehabilitation coordination arrangements. • NEOC to initiate Rehabilitation activities while coordinating Response activities. • Recovery Task Force convenes. • All agencies to complete reports and submissions made as required. • DDM to coordinate subsequent debrief. 178 APPENDIX 14.0 ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ADRA - ADVENTIST DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF AGENCY APTC(North) ATLANTIC PATROL TASK – NORTH ..….see WIGS B.V.I. - BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS CCC - CARIBBEAN CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES CDERA - CARIBBEAN DISASTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCY CERT - COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM CHAD- CONFLICT AND HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT COG - CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT CO - CLERICAL OFFICER CRRT - CARIBBEAN REGIONAL RESPONSE TEAM DAC - DISASTER AUXILIARY CORPS DDM- DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT DFID- DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT D.G. - DEPUTY GOVERNOR DIRECTOR, DISASTER MANAGEMENT- DIRECTOR OF DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT DPO - DISASTER PREPAREDNESS OFFICER DPU - DEVELOPMENT PLANNING UNIT ECDG- EASTERN CARIBBEAN DONORS GROUP EOC - EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE E.O. - EXECUTIVE OFFICER ETO - EMERGENCY TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICER EXCO - EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 179 FCO- FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE GIS - DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS HAZMATS - HAZARDOUS MATERIALS HRAP - HAZARD AND RISK ASSESSMENT PROJECT ICS - INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM IDNDR - INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION ITM - INFORMATION TRAINING MANAGER ISU - INFORMATION SYSTEMS UNIT LEGCO - LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL MOU- MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING NDMC - NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NEBS - NATIONAL EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM NEMOT - NETWORK OF EMERGENCY MANAGERS OF OVERSEAS TERRITORIES NEOC - NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE NGO’S - NON GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS NDC - NATIONAL DISASTER COORDINATOR ODP - OFFICE OF DISASTER PREPAREDNESS OFDA - OFFICE OF US FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE PAHO - PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION PSA - PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT PSDP - PUBLIC SERVICE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM REMPEITC - REGIONAL MARINE POLLUTION EMERGENCY INFORMATION TRAINING CENTRE RRM- REGIONAL RESPONSE MECHANISM RSTS - RELIEF SUPPLY TRACKING RVIPF - ROYAL VIRGIN ISLANDS POLICE FORCE SEO - SENIOR EXECUTIVE OFFICER SRU - SEISMIC RESEARCH UNIT – UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES STPO - SENIOR TECHNICAL PLANNING OFFICER SUMA - SUPPLY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM TSMU - TELEPHONE SERVICES MANAGEMENT USVI - UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS VHF - VERY HIGH FREQUENCY VISAR - VIRGIN ISLANDS SEARCH AND RESCUE VITV - VIRGIN ISLANDS TELEVISION WIGS- WEST INDIES GUARD SHIP – now APTC 180 APPENDIX 15.0 GLOSSARY OF TERMS These definitions come from the UNDHA/UNDP and OFDA. Other authors and organizations have sometimes used variations of these definitions.. AFTERSHOCK A smaller earthquake that follows the main shock and originates close to its focus. Aftershocks that follow the main shock have to be considered as the same event as the main earthquake. ALARM The warning or signal given of the actual or imminent presence of a dangerous event so that specific instructions for emergencies can be followed. ALERT The warning or signal given of the actual or imminent presence of a dangerous event so that specific instructions for emergencies can be followed. BUDGET A statement of resources (people, time and money) allocated to particular activities with a specific time frame. A statement of plans and expected results in numerical terms. 181 CONTINGENCY PLAN A plan for possible future situations which are not expected to occur but which may occur. Commonly called a “What if.” Plan. COORDINATION The process of integrating the objectives and activities of separate work units or functional areas in order to realize the organization’s goals effectively. DAMAGE Unwanted changes or losses resulting from hazard impacts. DECLARATION OF A DISASTER Official declaration by the authorities of a political-management jurisdiction due to the need for extraordinary action. DEVELOPMENT The cumulative and lasting increase, tied to social changes, in the quantity and quality of a community’s goods, services and resources, with the purpose of maintaining and improving the security and quality of human life. DISASTER A natural or man-caused event which causes intense negative impacts on people, goods, services and/or the environment, exceeding the affected community’s capability to respond. DISASTER MANAGEMENT A collective term encompassing all aspects of planning for and responding to disaster, including both pre and post-disaster activities. It refers to both the risk and consequences of a disaster. DISASTER WARNING SYSTEM Methods to alert the community in case of a disaster. EARTHQUAKE Sudden break within the upper layers of the earth, sometimes breaking the surface, resulting in the vibration of the ground, when strong enough will cause the collapse of buildings and destruction of life and property. There are two scales for measuring the impact of an earthquake; the Richter scale and the Mercalli scale. EMERGENCY PLAN A definition of the policies, organization and procedures for confronting disasters in all phases. 182 EMERGENCY situation generated by real or imminent occurrence of an event, requiring immediate attention. EXPOSED POPULATION The total population potentially susceptible to the effects of a hazard. FLOOD A significant rise of water level in a stream, lake, reservoir or a coastal region, a flood is harmful inundation of property and land utilized by man and may be of two types. Slow flood – An increase in the volume of water produced by rain in rivers and lakes over a long period, days or weeks, mainly affecting property such as houses and cattle, and displacing the inhabitants from their usual dwelling places. Flash flood – A sudden and extreme volume of water that flows rapidly causing deaths, injuries and violent destruction of property and inundation, and because of its nature is difficult to forecast. HAZARD The potential for a natural or man-caused event to occur with negative consequences. HAZARD ASSESSMENT Determining the nature, severity and frequency of a hazard; the area likely to be affected; and the time and duration of impact. HAZARD MAPPING The process of establishing geographically where certain phenomena are likely to pose a threat to elements at risk. HURRICANE/CYCLONE A large-scale closed circulation system in the atmosphere with low barometric pressure and strong winds that rotate counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Hurricanes are large atmospheric vortices with winds of more than 74 m.p.h; they develop in the Doldrums of the tropics and move in an often-erratic way towards higher latitudes. INJURED People with physical injuries/trauma/illness requiring medical treatment (therapeutic feeding included) as a direct result of a disaster. Comments: This category will include the severely malnourished as well as victims of radiation exposure and 183 chemical intoxication. The injured are always part of the primary affected population. MITIGATION Measures taken to reduce the loss of life, livelihood and property by disasters, either by reducing vulnerability or by modifying the hazard, where possible. NATURAL DISASTERS Events of natural causes that result in a disaster. Examples are: hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, erosion, landslides, earthquakes, tidal surges/tsunami and volcanoes. OPERATIONAL MANUALS Describes duties, authorities, responsibilities, policies, rules, regulations, operational procedures and any other information that will guide employees in the performance of their tasks. POPULATION AT RISK Population whose life, property and livelihood are directly threatened by a hazard. PREVENTION Measures taken for the purpose of preventing natural or an-caused phenomena from causing or giving rise to disasters or other emergency situations. RECONSTRUCTION The medium and long-term repair of physical, social and economic damage and the return of affected structures to a condition equal to or better than before the disaster. RECOVERY The medium and long-term repair of physical, social and economic damage and the return of affected structures to a condition equal to or better than before the disaster. REHABILITATION (Community) The restoration of basic services and the beginning of the repair of physical, social and economic damages. REHABILITATION (Individuals) The process of restoring victims to normal life through education, therapy and assistance. RESPONSE Actions carried out in a disaster situation with the objective to save lives, alleviate suffering and reduce economic losses. RETROFIT Major repairs to a structure for the purpose of changing or modifying the construction to withstand the effects of a potential hazard. 184 RISK ASSESSEMENT Determining the probability that a disaster will occur. RISK MAP A graphic representation of the distribution of the types of intensity of effects a particular event may cause in relation to the degree of vulnerability. RISK The probability that a disaster will occur given the hazard and vulnerability. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES SOP’s Guidelines for operating procedures in an emergency - equipment processes and methods. SHELTER A facility set up to provide temporary housing for persons unable to continue their living arrangement in separate family units. LONG TERM – used for a longer period of time as temporary housing; SHORT TERM – occupied for no more than 72 hours. SHELTER MANAGER A staff manager assigned overall responsibility for managing a shelter utilizing available resources. SHELTEREE A person, who as a result of an emergency situation, requires temporary shelter. SIMULATION EXERCISE A representation of reality with information and activities designed to train or test individuals or groups on processes and actions. STORM SURGE A sudden rise of sea as a result of high winds and low atmospheric pressure; sometimes called a storm tide, storm wave or tidal wave (this name indicates waves caused by the tidal action of the moon and the sun in the same way as regular ocean tides. It is often erroneously given to tsunamis). Generally affects only coastal areas but may intrude some distance inland. STAGING AREA Temporary location where personnel and equipment may be assigned. TARGET The groups of people to whom relief services and supplies are provided. 185 TSUNAMI/TIDAL WAVE Series of large sea waves generated by sudden displacement of sea water (caused by earthquake, volcanic eruption or submarine landslide); capable of propagation over large distance. VICTIM A person who has suffered great harm to his/her physical or psychic integrity, goods and/or individual and collective services. VULNERABILIY ANALYSIS The process through which the values at risk and/or the susceptibility level of elements exposed to specific hazards is determined. VULNERABILITY The extent to which a community’s structure, services or environment is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of a hazard. WORKING GROUP A group which has tasks and activities related to common goals and objectives and which is in frequent and regular contact and communication. APPENDIX 16.0 ZONAL COMMITTEES CHAIRPERSONS AS AT JUNE 7, 2002 Zone 1 – Zion Hill to West End, Cox Heath, Mr. Archibald Christian Fort Recovery & Towers, Little Apple Bay, Carrot Bay & Windy Hill, Ballast Bay, Cane Garden Bay Mr. Rueben Vanterpool Zone 2 – Brewers Bay, Soldier Hill & Mount Healthy, Great Mountain, Long Trench, Belle Vue, Manchester, Hope Estate, Josiah’s Bay 186 Ms. Lecia Rubaine Zone 3 – Threllfall, Nanny Cay, Hannahs & Pleasant Valley, Sea Cow’s Bay, Albion to Duff Bottom Mr. Ishmael Scatliffe Zone 4 – Road Town West Central, Long Bay & Huntums Ghut, Lower Estate Mr. Scott Joseph Zone 5 – Johnsons Ghut, Pasea, Johns Hole, Horse Path, Purcell Estate, Free Bottom, Butu Mountain, Baughers Bay, Fish Bay, Kingston, Brandywine Bay Mr. James Lettsome Zone 6 – Long Look, Vanterpool Estate, Fat Hogs Bay & Hodges Creek, Old Plantation, Long Swamp, Major Bay, Parham Town, East End, Beef Island Mrs. Carmen Blyden Zone 7 – Jost Van Dyke Ms. Lucia Francis Zone 8 – Anegada Mr. Rupert Ephraim Zone 9 – The Valley, Virgin Gorda Hon. Reeial George Zone 10 – North Sound, Virgin Gorda 187 APPENDIX 17.0 ORGANIZATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT IN THE BVI – A SCHEMATIC REPRESENTATION GOVERNOR [ EXECUTIVE COUNCIL NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT COUNCIL National Emergency Executive Committee (NEEC) Damage Public Emergency Welfare services Transport, Road Administration Marine Pollution Health Assessment & Education Operations And food Clearance and and Finance Action Group Disaster Mitigation Information & Telecomms. Distribution Logistics Sub-committee Subcommittee Sub-committee Sub-committee & Training Sub-committee Sub-committee Sub-committee Disaster DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT/ Auxiliary Corps (DAC) NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE (DEPUTY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE) COMMUNITY PUBLIC WORKS WATER AND FIRE AND RESCUE CONSERVATION GOVERNMENT ROYAL VIRGIN TOWN AND HEALTHY DEPARTMENT SEWERAGE SERVICES AND FISHERIES INFORMATION ISLANDS COUNTRY DEPARTMENT DEPARTMENT SERVICES POLICE FORCE PLANNING DEPT. 188 ZONAL COMMITTEES ZONE 1 ZONE 2 ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5 ZONE 6 ZONE 7 ZONE 8 ZONE 9 ZONE 10 ZONE COORDINATION CANE GARDEN BAY WEST END CARROT BAY Zonal Emergency Zonal Emergency Zonal Emergency Mgt. Committee Mgt. Committee Mgt Committee 189
"HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORMS"