BVI News

Continuity of gov’t plan being created for major post-disaster events

Deputy Governor David Archer, Jr.

A ‘Continuity of Government Plan’ is expected to be created in the British Virgin Islands to enable central government to continue certain functions in the event the territory is impacted by a major natural disaster.

This was revealed in a government media release which said the plan was discussed at a recent workshop that was hosted by the Office of the Deputy Governor in collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management.

In his remarks at the aforementioned workshop, Deputy Governor David Archer, Jr said a system needed to be in place to allow for work to continue when the functions of government are significantly affected.

“It is those 24 through 48 hours following the occurrence of a disaster that are considered the most crucial and we must ensure that we develop systems that serve as a blueprint. So as a territory, we are able to remain resilient even in the midst of a disaster,” the Deputy Governor stated.

Consultant Atiba Clarke who facilitated the workshop said, when finalised, the continuity plan will go a long way towards benefitting the BVI.

“A lot of these issues have already been discussed based on the experiences of 2017. But this plan will help set it all out in one practical, cohesive document so that it can be used for future events and can be shared with those who will assume leadership functions should the territory be impacted again,” Clarke said.

According to the aforesaid media release, the final plan will involve undertaking a business impact assessment of government’s essential services, facilitating decision-making and continuity of operations, planning activities, and reducing disruptions of essential functions.

It will also include documenting the order of succession of critical management positions; identifying vital facilities, equipment, records, and other assets; and guiding an orderly transition to the continuity of operations, planning activities, and return to operations.

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  1. Private sector says:

    Consult with places such as Harneys. They could offer good advice.

  2. Diaspora says:

    This is benign neglect. It is surprising that the VI government didn’t have a strong and comprehensive continuity plan in place to address a disaster or other unplanned events. A cadre of essential services people should have already been identified and trained as to a)where they should be, b)when they should be at what location and c) what their responsibilities are going to be.

    Let’s see there were a) HL Stoutt, b)Williard Wheatley, c)CB Romney, d)RT Oneal, e)DO Smith and AA Fahie (only in charge since Feb 2019) governments and this was not a codified requirement until now. Some of these governments have had multiple terms and there was Disaster Management Department. Was this p..s poor planning the cause of the disjointed, slow and poor response after monster hurricanes Irma and Maria? Prior planning prevent pi…s poor performance. Anyway better late than never.

    • @Diaspora says:

      @Diasapora, “This is benign neglect.” Benign neglect it is not. It is either a faulty constructed sentence or you are being gracious. Residents depend heavily on government during normal times and will more so during an emergency. It is reason to take pause that in 2019 government is just trying to plan and implement a continuity plan of action in case of an emergency.

  3. Quiet Warrior says:

    Complacency caught residents flat footed for the ravages of monster hurricanes Irma and Maria. The complacency caused many residents to be ill-prepared, ie, no or under insurance, failure to secure loose debris from becoming flying missiles, failure to shutter buildings to keep wind out……..etc. As the residents were complacent and ill-prepared so too was the government. Lacking a continuity plan, government officials went in hibernation and AWOL after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit.

    Coming out of hiding, it had a disjointed plan that was clearly hurriedly fling together. The poor response to the hurricanes, one of the lowest point and most challenging time in the territory’s history, was a major factor for the shellacking the incumbent government got during the 2/25/2019.

    As Diaspora wrote above, “prior planning prevent poor performance. This alliteration is applicable to the VI situation. The VI people feel special and can avoid norms embrace by other small countries, ie, preparing, planning……etc. It is a tiny brown dot in the sea yet it wants to behave like big countries. Here is a news flash. It cannot and should not. It cannot adopt in a wholesale manner what is done in large countries. It can adopt and should adapt what is adopted from large countries commensurate with its size. Let’s get the continuity plan done; let’s get ah dun.

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