BVI News

DDM one of the ‘most robust’ in Caribbean, says Penn

Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has been described as one of the most respected meteorological-associated agencies in the region.

Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee (DRCC), Brodrick Penn hailed the DMM as ‘well-respected’ while speaking this week at a public meeting in Carrot Bay about government’s proposed recovery plan for the BVI.

“From the Director down to the staff; we have one of the most robust disaster management systems throughout the region,” Penn said.

His statement comes weeks after the territory was placed on a tsunami advisory, which most residents claimed they did not know about until the threat had passed.

DDM blamed

Critics now blame the DDM for not doing more to warn residents.

They said many lives would have been lost had a tsunami actually happened.

But, Penn reminded residents that most of the DDM’s emergency warning system was destroyed during the September 2017 hurricanes.

“What we are talking about is a complete system failure because of the magnitude of the storms that had passed,” he said.

However, the DRCC Chairman said mechanisms are still at the ready in case of a tsunami.

He said tsunami routes have been identified, text message alerts are functional, among other things.

Penn then called on residents to be ‘as cautious as possible’ going forward.

Reflecting on what could have happened at the time of the tsunami threat, one resident called on the government to urgently equip the DDM so residents can be properly warned whenever there is an emergency.

“… these are the things that we have to start looking at seriously. It is not a joke,” the resident said.

However, the government has already approved for the DDM to receive $442,000 to re-establish the territory’s National Early Warning System.

The January 9 advisory

A tsunami advisory was issued for the British Virgin Islands on January 9 after an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.6 occurred north of Honduras.

A tsunami advisory means that sea level is expected to repeatedly rise and fall by as much as one to 3.3 feet above and below the tide level in cycles that may take from five minutes to an hour.

The Honduras earthquake had a depth of 20 miles and was located approximately 1,447 miles west of Road Town on Tortola.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


Disclaimer: BVI News and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the comments below or other interaction among the users.

  1. Pot Head says:

    Rubbish. You sure you want to still talk about “robust” partna? ????????‍♂️

  2. Resident says:

    This country was in no shape or form ready for a cat 5 hurricane and I’m not talking about home owners I’m talking about the govt. Obviously there was not a strategic plan. Now I don’t know who is supposed to make sure the govt is prepared – but I know the ddm should play a role. So in my opinion they failed. If God forbid,a major earthquake occurs. We are still not ready. What is the ddm’s role in that? A tsunami? Apart from sending people to safety what are the plans. Is there enough food in the territory? Is there enough safe drinking water. If we had not stock up on food for Irma or the supermarkets did not open many people would have starved. What is the ddm role in all of that. The govt was missing in action. What is ddm role after a major hurricane? Aren’t they supposed to advise govt? I am worried that another major disaster would occur are we truly prepared. Again I am not talking citizens I am talking about the govt?

    • Wow says:

      Why are you not talking citizens? People like to say the citizens are the Government but only when it suits them. While Government has a responsibility for the Territory on a whole, individuals need to get their asses in gear and do what they have to do. Everything is Government but when they ask us to pay a fee we cry bloody murder. None of the things you mention come cheap or free, who is paying for it?

  3. LOL says:


  4. mhhh says:


  5. Rice says:

    Needs a new director. No one knows what is appending at DDM. Have a indigenous Virgin Islander placed in that position. Time for change.

  6. Lol says:

    Yea robust like our economy lol.

  7. Diplomat says:

    What rating agency is anointing DDM as the best and most respected meteorological entity in the region? Action and performance, not flowery language nor empty hopeful words, will put DDM in the forefront of disaster preparedness in the region. Furthermore, it is not about being the best but rather being effective. DDM is not there yet; it is a work in progress. No doubt, DDM provides a vital national service but to deliver this vital service effectively, it must be well-supported and resourced. DDM must be high on the bucket list for resource allocation.

    True, some of DDM assets/equipment were severely damaged by the monster storms but it is approaching 6 months since the storms roared ashore. So by now means should have been put in place to adequately notify residents of an impending disaster, ie, tsunami…….etc. The BVI is a small 1X2 territory so it should be relatively ease to communicate and warn residents of impending disaster(s). Residents should heed the disaster preparedness and readiness warnings.

    The start of 2018 hurricane season (June 01) is fast approaching and residents are rightly getting anxious and nervous, for the recovery effort from 2017 damages though steady are slow. Many properties remained exposed, susceptible and highly vulnerable damages.

    Now that 2017 has established that the VI is not immune to major hurricane disaster DDM needs to start now with an aggressive disaster planning and preparedness campaign throughout the territory. DDM/EOC needs to launch some preparedness drills now, not wait until May. It is important that DDM/government does its part but individual(s) must also do his/her part in disaster planning and preparednes, ie, developing an emergency plan, collecting non-perishable food items, securing loose debris, procuring communication equipment, board up windows and doors, heed warnings……..etc.

  8. Sam the Man says:

    WTF… DDM has been ill prepared, out of it’s depth, slow, inefficient and clueless – but let’s slap it on the back and give it a certificate and continue to reward mediocrity…in fact it hasn’t even come close to that… Come on BVI who are you trying to fool, the evidence is there if another hurricane comes this year we are doomed….

  9. Seriously says:

    DDM – Dire Directionless Management…. But then it’s overseen but what people are calling the NDP – the No Direction Party ! So we can’t be surprised….

  10. The watcher says:

    This man for real, strups

  11. Boo says:

    Well DDM did achieve American Accreditation but who could plan for what Irma threw at us? Yes a lot better could have been done.

    But this

    “The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has been described as one of the most respected meteorological-associated agencies in the region.”

    who is the meteorologist on staff pray tell Mr Broderick Sir? From what I recall its just Antigua Met office reports they parrot. Please re-read your script Mr Soon-to-be-put-to-pasture.

  12. @ says:

    LOL … Well we now know where the Premier picked up the word “Robust”. Seriously though Penn stop talking crap. BVI DDM is as good as my internet right now – buffering! You talking about the department that has no idea about planning for the future. The department that want to tell people “this never happen to us” when it has happen in the world but they just thought it could never happen to them. The department who was overwhelmed with how to get aid to the territory. Give me a break with your NDP rubbish!

  13. @ says:

    Someone please also remind Penn that the tsuami warning system when it worked could only be heard in like half of town if that much … he going on like it was BVI wide.

  14. Hmm says:

    DDM did the best they can. Yes there is room for improvement but they were one of the better agencies. The airport, electricity and DDM did quiet well considering the situation. Look for the positive and offer constructive criticism. Some of the points made should be pencil for they are quiet good. Let us build a better BVI.

Leave a Comment