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                                    DISASTER PLAN-NDP)

                             NOVEMBER 2002


   This Revised National Disaster Plan represents one of the most significant and
tangible outputs of a Contingency Planning Process that begun in January 2002.

   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

                                                      Elton Georges, OBE
                                                      Chairman NEAC


       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
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-
Mr. Malcolm Kirk    Governor’s Office
Mr. Roger Bellers   British Overseas Territories Disaster Management
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


    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

   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


    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

             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    ____________________________

Name:        Anslem Myers, Manager, Solid Waste Division

Signature:   ____________________________

Name:        Rosalie Herbert, Senior Administrative Officer, Ministry of Health and

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

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:   ____________________________

Name:        Faye Reese, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Communications and

Signature:   ____________________________

Name:        Malcolm Kirk, Private Secretary, Governor’s Office

Signature:   ____________________________

Name:        Jewel Guishard, Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Communications &

Signature:   _____________________________

Name:        Roger Bellers, Disaster Management Adviser to the British Overseas

Signature:   _____________________________

                                 SECTION A



       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
             -   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


       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

      The Emergency Powers legislation, gives the Governor powers to bypass the
normal legislative process, when the exigencies of the situation require such action.

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


       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.


      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

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)


         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


        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.

      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

      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

      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.


       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)


       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


       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.


       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.



    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

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

     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.



       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

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.


     The goal of the National Disaster Plan is to provide a framework, which
 promotes centralized coordination, control and effective collaboration in preparing

 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
              Hazard Specific Plans
              Telecoms Plan
              Evacuation Plan



      Hurricanes and Tropical Storms


  •   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


         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.


      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

      5. In general, the individuals required to perform critical roles in emergencies will
         be available when required or have capable stand-ins.

       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

        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

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.



        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.


        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.


       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.


        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

should diligently follow manufacturers maintenance recommendations. The relevant
manuals and guidelines should be kept in close proximity to the equipment to
promote effective maintenance.


       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


       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.


        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.


      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

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

      It is expected that all agencies will maintain at least a limited quantity of those
products and supplies most directly related to their mandate.


       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.


       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

developed and the public must be made aware of the locations of shelters and the
obligations of shelterees.


        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.


       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.


        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.

       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.


       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.


      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.


       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.


   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.


    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

   -     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.


       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.


        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.


      All agencies are expected to take responsibility for their own readiness in
terms of facilities, training, resourcing, personnel deployment and safety issues.


      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.

        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.


                          LEAD AND SUPPORT AGENCIES


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
              •    Drills and
                                       NEOC Operations
                                       information to
                                       other agencies

Police        •    Surveillance        Crowd control      Site inspection.       Incident
              •    Incident                                                      review.
                   reporting           Evacuation         Investigations
              •    Alerting of         management
              •    Maritime            Traffic control    Assist external

                 emergency           NEOC Operations agencies if
                 preparedness                        required.
                                     Site security
                                     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
              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
              MOU’s with                                                      agency review
Department    • Public               Warnings     and Information             Incident
of               Awareness           Alerts request at dissemination.         review.

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.
                                       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

              • 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
              •   Participate in       Lead medivac         Access supply         agencies.
                  drills, exercises    arrangements.        levels.
                  and related
                  training             Arrange collection   Report on overseas

                                    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.
              •   MOU’s with
                  Private Sector

              •   Coordinate
                  Health Sector

              •   Provide
                  persons for

              •   Promote

Ministry of   Financial                                Disbursement of        Serve on
Finance       arrangements in                          funds in               Recovery
              accordance with                          accordance with        Task Force.
              Financial                                regulations.

              Develop and
              procedures for
              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.

            management.            NEOC Operations Ascertain
                                                   functionality of
            Participate in                         Chief Minister’s
            relevant NEAC                          Office.
            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
            Ensure sub-units
            and agencies                                Work with
            maintain an                                 Governor’s Office
            appropriate level of                        on external
            preparedness.                               assistance and
                                                        foreign affairs.
            Ensure appropriate
Social      • Promote                                   •   Assist in          •   Provide
Developme       preparedness at                             identifying and        counseling.
nt              community                                   prioritizing
                level.                                      community          •   Provide
                                                            needs.                 specialist
            •   Work with DDM                           •   Assist in
                to enhance                                  registration and
                community level                             tracing
                capacity.                                   activities.

            •   Maintain                                •   Assist in direct
                shelters to                                 welfare
                acceptable                                  assistance.

            •  Assist in
               development of
               relevant plans.
Water and   Maintain water                              Assess damage.         Participate in
Sewerage    supplies.              NEOC Operations                             incident
                                                        Develop and            review.

              •   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.

              •   Construct
                  hazard resistant

              •   Assist agencies
                  to develop
                  water supply
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
              Keep lines clear of
Solid Waste   Surveillance and                         Assist in debris
Division      reporting.                               removal and road
              Maintenance of
              equipment.                               Collect waste.

              Procurement of                           Incinerate waste.
National      Surveillance and                         Secondary hazard        Incident
Parks         reporting.                               assessment.             review.
Trust                                                  Public Relations.

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

              Public Awareness

              Training of staff and
              other agency

              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.
                                                          Liaise with
              Assist in hazard                            Governor’s Office,
              awareness                                   Chief Minister’s
              campaigns for                               Office, DDM and

             tourists and                              NEOC.
             property owners.
                                                       Liaise with external
             Participate in                            representatives.
             training and
             exercises.                                Manage enquiries
             Assist in developing
             mechanisms for

             Assist in
             evacuation of
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.
             Public awareness                                                 needs and
             campaigns.                                                       restock.

             Joint training with                                              Review
             DDM and other                                                    procedures
             agencies.                                                        and make any
             Membership on                                                    changes.

             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

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

         appropriate SOP’s.


TASK                      LEAD AGENCY               SUPPORT AGENCIES

Policy clarification      NEAC                      DDM, Attorney General’s
                                                    Chambers, Chief Minister’s
                                                    Office, Development Planning
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
Training programmes       DDM                       All public sector agencies, in
                                                    collaboration with NGO,
                                                    private sector external
                                                    agencies and zonal
                                                    committees CDERA and
Early Warning             DDM                       Police, PWD, GIS and media
Systems                                             houses.
Emergency                 DDM                       GIS and media houses.
Emergency                 DDM                       Welfare Sub-committee,
Stockpiles                                          Social Development
                                                    Department, Adventist
                                                    Development and Relief
                                                    Agency (ADRA) and Red
Warehouse                 DDM                       Ministry of Finance
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,

                                               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.
Needs Prioritization    EXCO                   DDM, EOC Operations
                                               Group, DPU, Chief Minister’s
                                               Office and Governor’s Office.

Essential Services    Ministry of               PWD and Marine Services
Restoration           Communications and        Unit.
(Operations)          Works

   •   Water          Water and Sewerage
   •   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
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.
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,
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.

Emergency Road          PWD                       Town and Country Planning;
repairs and access                                Lands and Survey
                                                  Police; Attorney General’s
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
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
Restoration of Social   Ministry of Education     Ministry     of   Health   and
Services                and Culture.              Welfare, Office of Gender
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.

                             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.


Media - radio, TV and print             • Public Awareness, warnings and
                                        • General information
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
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

                                   SECTION B



       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.

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
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
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      –
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.


       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.


       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,


     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.


     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

     Actions during the Alert Phases will be guided by those recommended in the

     When actual impact occurs then there is an automatic change from Alert to

     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.

        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

       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

                                SECTION C



       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
        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.


      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.)


        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.


       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

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.


      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”.


      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

      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.



                                  ANNEX 11.1



      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:-

                              SAFFIR SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE

                SUSTAINED          EYE            STORM       DAMAGE        DAMAGE PATTERNS
CATEGORY          WINDS         PRESSURE         SURGE IN      LEVEL
1               74-94           980              4.0-4.9     Low          Little damage to
                                Millibars                                 structures, mostly
                                                                          shrubbery, foliage and
2               96-110          965-979          5.9-7.9     Moderate     Some roof damage
                                                                          likely. Extensive damage
                                                                          to vegetation.
                                                                          Significant costal
3               111-130         945-964          8.9-18.0    Extensive    Structural damage to
                                                                          small buildings.
                                                                          Extensive coastal
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).

    Extracted from the Disaster Digest of March 2000.

      The Hazard and Risk Assessment Report describes hurricanes as one of the
most significant hazards to which the BVI is exposed:


      A hurricane can combine storm surge, powerful winds and torrential rains into
a devastating combination.

       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.

        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.

       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.

       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
                      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

       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.

       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.

       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
          •   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.

         •    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.

        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
      Early   warning    systems    such    as   sirens   and   emergency       broadcast
      Stockpiles of emergency supplies and associated warehouse management
      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.

      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

      One of the major challenges of responding to the threat of hurricanes is the
remarkable variability in behaviour and characteristics. Further, the same hurricane

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.

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

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.

                     AND RESPONSE TASKS

         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
                                           Coordination of evacuation strategies
Development of Zonal and
Community committees                       Coordination of public service
Participate in regional and
international initiatives CDERA,           Management of emergency aid
                                           Tracking emergency supplies e.g. FUNDE
Mobilization of personnel
                                           SUMA system


      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)

       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

       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.

       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.

       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.

      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

                     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

Ministries and Government Departments; the Red Cross could be requested to
interface with voluntary, service and community-based organizations.

                                 ALERT SCHEMA
       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.

 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

        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.
                   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.

       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

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.


                              LEVEL 1, BULLETIN 1

            Level 1 Alert declared among agencies
            DDM to continue monitoring weather reports and meteorological
            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
            Private sector requested to report levels of stocks of essential supplies
            – food, fuel, water, medicines and emergency auxiliaries such as
            All key personnel to advise on questions of availability.
            Public Works, Police, Fire and other key Response agencies conduct
            general readiness assessments.


 Alert Level 2 declared among agencies and public
 National Emergency Executive Committee to meet to assess state of
 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

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
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.

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN 36 hrs before onset of hurricane conditions AT
                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
  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
  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.

               ALERT LEVEL 4 – HURRICANE WARNING 24 hrs.

Alert level 4 declared among agencies and the public. NEOC fully activated and
        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
      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
      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.

           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.


       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.


       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.

                           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
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


       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

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:-
        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.

                       GENERAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT

        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.

       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.

       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

         An alert issued when hurricane or storm conditions become
         a possible threat within a specified time – usually 36 hrs.

         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

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
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.

       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

        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.

       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.

       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

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.

                         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

      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

       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.

        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

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”.

      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

       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.


       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.

             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

             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
of Disaster Management. The Department of Disaster Management should develop
and maintain a checklist to simplify and standardize the procedure.

        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.

                                ANNEX 11.2


       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

       • In volcanic regions – volcanic events. In areas like the BVI – Tsunamis
         if a large event occurs undersea.
       • Landslides and rockfalls.

        • Damage to buildings and infrastructure resulting in cracking, toppling
          and collapse.
        • Major disruption to power and water generation and distribution

      • Coastal inundation from tsunamis
      • Contamination of water supplies
      • Fires and explosions from ruptured fuel supply lines
      • Landslides and rockfalls especially along road cuttings.

      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.

       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.

        • Comprehensive Physical Planning
        • Enforcement of building code stipulations
        • Regular assessment of critical facilities for structural strength

       • Emergency medical response capacities
       • Education and public awareness programs
       • Emergency accommodation and shelter arrangements
       • Tracing and casualty bureau procedures
       • Mass casualty management

      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.

       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.

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

       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

                      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.
                           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
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

                                                                       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
Ministry         of Capacity building             SOP’s for patient    Emergency
Health              among staff                   care during an       medical response
                    Collaborative                                      Mass casualty
                    training                                           management

                                                                       Disposal of the
                                                                       dead (if

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

Department of       Capacity building                                  On-scene
Information and     among staff                                        response under
Public Relations                                                       direction of
                    Deployment kits kept                               Incident
                    in readiness                                       Commander

      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.

       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.

      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

       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.

        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.

       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

          •   General medical responses
          •   Impact assessments
          •   Damage assessments
          •   De-briefing
          •   After-action reporting
          •   Restoration of critical facilities and services

       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.

       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.

        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.

        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,

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.

        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.

        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.

       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.

       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.

      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

       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



       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.

       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

         • Destruction by the sheer force of moving water – buildings, roads,
              culverts, bridges and other facilities.

          •   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
          •   Extensive damage to crops, vegetation, livestock and coastal
          •   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.

      • 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
      • Possible contamination from sewers and sewage.

        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.

       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.

       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.

       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.

             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
             Arrangements for welfare and relief distribution.
             Search and Rescue training.
             Response Plan for Anegada.


      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
                    Town and Country Planning Department
                    RVI Police Force
                    Department of Health
                    Public Works Department
                    Solid Waste Department

                     Environmental Health Department
                     Conservation and Fisheries Department
                     Water and Sewerage Dept.
                     Agriculture Department should be included

       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.

       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


       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.

       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.

       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.

                       FIELD AND SITE – RELATED ACTIONS

       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.

       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.

        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.

        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

       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.

      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

the Department of Information and Public Relations must ensure that timely and
accurate information is disseminated as the situation unfolds.

       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.

                    Severe flooding can result in a build up of rocks, vegetation and
                    debris on the roads. Ensuring a rapid clean up program is a
                    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.

        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

ensure equity and efficiency in relief operations by sharing plans and information
with each other.

                           SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

        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.

       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

       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


        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.

       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


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 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.

       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.

       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.

       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.

       • 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.


         •   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

    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

        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.

       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.

      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.

      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

        • The Police are responsible for Incident Command (ICS) for landslides

       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.

      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.

        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

      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

       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 are unusually high waves breaking on the shore, unrelated to
weather disturbances or wind speeds. It is thought that they arise from several

             (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.


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

       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.

       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
      (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 for tsunamis include:-
                    ensuring appropriate design of buildings located very near the
                    keeping vital (irreplacable) records well above ground level
                    elevating the living area of buildings in zones of highest
                    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.

      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

vulnerability of structures through location, design, construction style and pattern of

       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

         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.

        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.

    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


                              RELATED TO TSUNAMIS
       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
                 Networking with
                scientific organizations                             Briefings


                                                                     Networking with
                                                                     external agencies

                                                                     Coordination of relief
                                                                     assistance if

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.
                management and                                       Incident command
                traffic control is time                              arrangements
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



        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.

        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

      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.

       (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

      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

   •   The Ministry of Agriculture, assists livestock farmers by providing access to
       water from wells for livestock consumption.

  • 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.

    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.

      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
      Warnings to the public if possible, to secure emergency supplies of potable
      Identification of emergency supplies of potable water.
      A determination of the most efficient ways to source and distribute emergency
      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

      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

                                 ANNEX 12.1.1


       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

      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

      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.

        • 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.

         •   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.

       • 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


      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
             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
             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.


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
                             Police,   VI    Fire   and   Rescue   Services,   Custom,

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:

     Accidents have occurred or appear inevitable in the vicinity of the aerodrome.

       Where an aircraft on the ground is known to have an emergency situation
other than an accident, requiring the attendance of emergency services.

       When it is known that an aircraft is, or is suspected to be in such trouble that
there is a danger of an accident

       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.

       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.

        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.

     Actions taken in accordance with security procedures.

      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.

       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.


       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.

       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

             -   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 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.

                       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

       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

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

       There are 5 major components.

      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.

    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

       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.

       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

      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

       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

Integrated Communications          -      Based      on      common        frequencies,
terminology and
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
Comprehensive Resource
  Management                -      Centralized control and deployment management


       The ICS suggests three distinct areas – The Incident Command Post (ICP)
                                          Staging Areas

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.

       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.

      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

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
  Chief              Air Traffic                                         Departmental of     Medical
  Fire       Controller                                         Information and            including
  Officer                                                        Public Relations   hospital

                          Company’s Senior Representative
                                (Airline Affected)

       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
               - clear delineation of roles and responsibilities
               - familiarity with all plans and procedures for response and
               - 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
   (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.

      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.

      • All sources of ignition such as naked flames must be kept well
             from an accident or incident
         •   Vehicle movements should be minimized to ensure that leaking
                 fuel does not create secondary hazards.

          •   Response personnel should approach from up-wind and up-hill
              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.

        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.

      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.

       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
                 o Set up a media relations unit.
                 o Maintain a chronological log of events

                     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.

            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


     A wide variety of hazards and incidents can give rise to emergencies and disasters
he         marine sector. These include:-
              • Collisions
              • Bad weather

          •   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.

       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.

      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

      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.


HARZARD OR      LEAD BY        OVERALL           ON-SCENE       INCIDENT       NOTES
Ferry         Marine         Marine           Police Marine,   Police      US Coast
accident      Services       Services         VISAR, Ports     Marine      Guard
                                              Authority;                   involved in

                                                Marine                     major incident
                                                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

                                                                           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
                                      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

illegal                                                                  post incident
immigrants                                  Police Marine                activities fall
                                            VISAR                        to other
                                            Customs                      agencies
                                            Marine Service
                                            Port Authority
Tsunami      Department                     Medical
             of Disaster Department         Services                     Responses
             Management of Disaster         Private Sector               would be
                         Management                                      primarily post
                                            Police Marine                incident
Terrorist    Police                         Services
incident                    Police          Port Authority
                                            Private Sector

                                            Police Marine
                                            Private Sector

                       INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS


     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

             International Convention on Salvage 1989

             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.

       All agencies which have responsibilities for incident response, maintain their
routine programs of surveillance for the hazards and incidents identified.

        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.

                                  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

                                              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
                                                                                                                Marine Police
Fire & Rescue                                                                                                 Rescue Sub-center
(assist with marine
fire response             Local Boats                      Conservation &
operations & co-                                               Fisheries

                                                                                         Conduct marine surface searches, assist and evaluate
                         Assist with marine surface searches                                 communications, conduct investigations.

       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

    The procedures outlined below are those taken from the SAR OPLAN.

       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.


      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.


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.

       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.

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

       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.


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).

       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 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.

       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

      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 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.

       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.

       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.

       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

      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.

       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.

      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 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

       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

        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

      The Government may initiate an inquiry or investigation into a SAR incident
should it be considered necessary. Recommendations arising from such will be

referred to the SAR Standing Committee for review and implementation where

       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.


       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.

                                ANNEX 12.1.3


       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

       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

     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

              A     -      Access
              N     -      Numbers
              E     -      Emergency services required
      The duty officer should then follow internal procedures for alerting the
Hospital and the Police immediately.

       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.


       Transport accidents involving large number of people are by definition Mass
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.

          •   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
                 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

       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

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

     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.

      The ICS suggests three distinct areas –
            The Incident Command Post (ICP)
            Staging Areas

       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

       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
                 -   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.

        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.

       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

             When the NEOC is not activated the Incident Commander or person
             designated by the Commander becomes the primary source of

             As far as possible, information is given as written releases clearly
             attributable to source.

             Media representatives should not impede ongoing rescue or
             investigative actions.

       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

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

        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.

      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

       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
                Sea Ports
                Marine Services Unit

       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.

       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

       The Emergency Response Guidebook for First Responders during the Initial
Phase of a Hazardous Material Incidents, offers the advice which is reproduced

      Resist the urge to rush in; others cannot be helped until the situation has
been fully assessed.

       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.

       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

    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

                     diking necessary?
                -   What resources (human and equipment) are required and a
                    readily available?
                -   What can be done immediately?

      Advise your headquarters to notify response agencies and call for assistance
from qualified personnel.

       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 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.

       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

             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.

       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.

     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

       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.

                                   ANNEX 12.2


       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.

      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.

      The Road Town Fire Services Headquarters houses the 999 emergency


       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.

       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.

                           RESPONSE FRAMEWORK

Lead by Mandate:        -          Fire and Rescue Services
Overall coordination: -            “
Lead for on-scene Response                “
Incident command                   “


      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


                     PRE EVENT                 EVENT             POST EVENT

   BVI Fire       Training of staff      Receipt of distress   Secondary hazard
   Rescue         and other agencies     calls                 assessment
                  Inspections            Counter measures      Reporting

                  Public awareness       Incident command      Investigations
                                         Hazard                Incident review
                  Enforcement of         assessment
                                         Search and rescue
                  Drills and exercises
                  Sourcing of            dissemination
                  equipment and
                  supplies               Communications
                                         with other agencies
                  Expert advice
                  Preparation of


  RVI Police      Surveillance         Crowd control         Investigations
                  Incident reporting   Evacuation            Incident review
                  Distress calls
                                       Traffic control
                  Alerting Fire
                  Services             Site security

                  Preparation of       Communication
                  response             with other agencies

                                       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
                  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
                                       dissemination of
                                       public information


                                                             Incident debrief
                                       Stand by to assist
Department of     Public awareness     in sourcing           Incident reports if
  Disaster                             additional            required

 Management        Logistical and       resources if
                   admin support for    required
                   training             Communication
                                        with other agencies

                                        NEOC activation if

                                        external agencies if

                      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

      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

       The Incident Commander will exercise the necessary judgement as to when
operations should be stood down.

       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.

      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.

       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.

                                  ANNEX 12.3

                   ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS

Note: A comprehensive Mass Gathering Plan already exists. It was developed by
the Ministry of Health.

       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

       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.

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.

      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

       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.


       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
             The centralized nature of emergency medical and trauma facilities.
             Public complacency with regards to safety issues.

              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.

       • 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

         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
              Training     and    exercising    in   matters   such   as   mass   casualty
              management, Search and Rescue in collapsed buildings Incident
              Command etc.
              Emergency Response standardized checklists.


                        One of the most important preparedness priorities for mass
                        gatherings, is event-planning. As far as possible, organizers of

                    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.


Lead Agency by mandate            - RVI Police Force
Lead for overall coordination           - RVI Police Force
Lead for on-scene Response              -    Health Sector Agencies; RVI Police
                                     Fire and Rescue Services
                                    (See Primary Roles and Responsibility)
Incident Command                  - RVI Police Force

       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.

      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.

                   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

                                        with other
               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

               Specialist advice to     dissemination
               organizers                                   Briefings
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

                                        with other

                  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

                                          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

       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.

       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.

       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.

       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.

       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.


      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?

         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.

        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.


             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.

      The requirements for written reports vary according to the seventy of the
impact and or the socio/economic or political significance of the incident.

      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.

       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
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.

      The Incident Commander will make a determination of the most appropriate

      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.

                                  ANNEX 12.4

                         TERRORIST INCIDENTS


        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

      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
                                         Civil   Aviation,   Port   Authority,   Marine
                                         Private Sector Agencies

      Any society is vulnerable to terrorism because all societies have targets.
Targets include:-
      critical facilities
      mass transport systems
      tourist and other visitors

      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.


      There are five (5) broad classes of terrorist acts –
      - Biological
      - Nuclear
      - Incendiary
      - Chemical
      - Explosive

        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

          •   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

          •   Toxins – are of natural origin            e.g. botulism and ricin which
                                                 derived from castor bean plant

        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 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 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
                            e.g. tear gas, Mace and pepper spray

                        POSSIBLE TERRORIST INCIDENTS

      Treat the incident as a potential crime scene:
         o Coordinate closely with all first responders
         o Do not destroy evidence

   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
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

     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

       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.

                                 ANNEX 12.5


      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.

                                 ANNEX 12.6

                              BOMB THREATS
       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

      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.

        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.

      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

       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

       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.

      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

                        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.

        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.

       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

                                   ANNEX 13.0



        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.

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
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

                                                     •   Agencies to conduct initial
                                                         briefings  and    conduct

                                                  preliminary        readiness

                                              •   Deputy Governor to confirm
                                                  Alert Level 1.

                                              •   GIS to publicize Alert Level 1
                                                  if necessary.

                                              •   Lead agency to conduct
                                                  initial    investigation if

                                              •   Monitoring by DDM to
                                                  determine whether Level 2 is

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

                                              •   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

                                                   Emergency         Response

                                               •   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
          There is still a chance that
          impact may not occur.                •   Deputy Governor to confirm
          Activation of the NEOC                   Level 3.
                                               •   DDM to confirm Level 3 to
          If impact does occur, it could           key agencies and officials.
          be severe.
                                               •   GIS to publicize Level 3

                                               •   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

                                              •   Detailed RECEE’s by multi-
                                                  agency team if possible.

                                              •   Monitoring by DDM to
                                                  determine whether Level 4 is
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

                                              •   Response     Agencies     to
                                                  initiate    or     continue
                                                  Emergency        Response
                                                  preparations in accordance
                                                  with     hazard     specific
                                                  guidelines and Standing

                                              •   GIS to     publicize   ALERT
                                                  Level 4.

                                              •   Briefings    to        External
                                                  agencies begin.

                                              •   Multi-agency RECEE to be
                                                  conducted if it is safe to do

                                              •   Monitoring by DDM to
                                                  determine whether alert 5 is


NATIONAL   A hazard impact which has          •   Agency receiving first report
GENERAL    occurred without precursor             (if not DDM) to ensure DDM
           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
           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

                                              •   GIS to publicize ALERT
                                                  Level 5 or Emergency
                                                  Broadcast to be made by
                                                  Director,        Disaster

                                              •   Director,         Disaster
                                                  Management to ensure all
                                                  agencies aware of Level 5

                                          Status or change to Level 5

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.

                        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

                                                     •   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

                                                     Lead    Agency    to   complete

                                            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

                                            in readiness for activation or
                                            until       stood        down
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

                                          •   DDM to coordinate incident

                                          •   Monitoring      by    Incident
                                              Commander             Director,
                                              Disaster Management and
                                              NEOC director to determine
                                              if Level 4 is indicated.

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
          Damage may still not be
          Territory-wide.                   •   Director, Disaster
                                                Management to ensure
          If casualties have occurred           external agencies kept
          specialist assistance is              updated.
                                            •   Director of NEOC to ensure
          External assistance in                continuous Executive
          specialist areas required             Council Level briefings.
                                            •   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

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.
                                 •   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

                                 •   Recovery Task Force

                                 •   All agencies to complete
                                     reports and submissions
                                     made as required.

                                 •   DDM to coordinate
                                     subsequent debrief.

                       APPENDIX 14.0




                                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..

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.

The warning or signal given of the actual or imminent presence of a dangerous
event so that specific instructions for emergencies can be followed.

The warning or signal given of the actual or imminent presence of a dangerous
event so that specific instructions for emergencies can be followed.

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

A plan for possible future situations which are not expected to occur but which may
occur. Commonly called a “What if.” Plan.

The process of integrating the objectives and activities of separate work units or
functional areas in order to realize the organization’s goals effectively.

Unwanted changes or losses resulting from hazard impacts.

Official declaration by the authorities of a political-management jurisdiction due to
the need for extraordinary action.

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.

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.

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.

Methods to alert the community in case of a disaster.

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.

A definition of the policies, organization and procedures for confronting disasters in
all phases.

situation generated by real or imminent occurrence of an event, requiring immediate

The total population potentially susceptible to the effects of a hazard.

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

       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

       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.

The potential for a natural or man-caused event to occur with negative

Determining the nature, severity and frequency of a hazard; the area likely to be
affected; and the time and duration of impact.

The process of establishing geographically where certain phenomena are likely to
pose a threat to elements at risk.

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.

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

chemical intoxication.     The injured are always part of the primary affected

Measures taken to reduce the loss of life, livelihood and property by disasters, either
by reducing vulnerability or by modifying the hazard, where possible.

Events of natural causes that result in a disaster. Examples are: hurricanes, tropical
storms, floods, erosion, landslides, earthquakes, tidal surges/tsunami and

Describes duties, authorities, responsibilities, policies, rules, regulations, operational
procedures and any other information that will guide employees in the performance
of their tasks.

Population whose life, property and livelihood are directly threatened by a hazard.

Measures taken for the purpose of preventing natural or an-caused phenomena from
causing or giving rise to disasters or other emergency situations.

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.
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.

The restoration of basic services and the beginning of the repair of physical, social
and economic damages.

The process of restoring victims to normal life through education, therapy and

Actions carried out in a disaster situation with the objective to save lives, alleviate
suffering and reduce economic losses.

Major repairs to a structure for the purpose of changing or modifying the construction
to withstand the effects of a potential hazard.

Determining the probability that a disaster will occur.

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.

The probability that a disaster will occur given the hazard and vulnerability.

Guidelines for operating procedures in an emergency - equipment processes and

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

A staff manager assigned overall responsibility for managing a shelter utilizing
available resources.

A person, who as a result of an emergency situation, requires temporary shelter.

A representation of reality with information and activities designed to train or test
individuals or groups on processes and actions.

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.

Temporary location where personnel and equipment may be assigned.

The groups of people to whom relief services and supplies are provided.

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.

A person who has suffered great harm to his/her physical or psychic integrity, goods
and/or individual and collective services.

The process through which the values at risk and/or the susceptibility level of
elements exposed to specific hazards is determined.

The extent to which a community’s structure, services or environment is likely to be
damaged or disrupted by the impact of a hazard.

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

                                                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

                                                    APPENDIX 17.0

                        A SCHEMATIC REPRESENTATION



                                               NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT
                                                                                                            National Emergency
                                                                                                            Executive Committee

   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

                                                DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT/                              Auxiliary Corps
                                               NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTRE
                                                      (DEPUTY GOVERNOR’S OFFICE)

   HEALTHY       DEPARTMENT        SEWERAGE            SERVICES         AND FISHERIES     INFORMATION               ISLANDS           COUNTRY
                                  DEPARTMENT                             DEPARTMENT         SERVICES              POLICE FORCE        PLANNING

                                                                 ZONAL COMMITTEES

   ZONE 1         ZONE 2            ZONE 3        ZONE 4         ZONE 5   ZONE 6    ZONE 7   ZONE 8   ZONE 9   ZONE 10


                                             CANE GARDEN BAY
  WEST END         CARROT BAY                  Zonal Emergency
Zonal Emergency   Zonal Emergency              Mgt. Committee
Mgt. Committee     Mgt Committee


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