Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Sharlene DaBreo says her department is hoping to install a new National Early Warning System by July.
The old warning system was destroyed during the September 2017 disasters, and government has allocated roughly half-a-million dollars, so far, to source and install the new system.
The National Early Warning System is used to alert the territory when there is a threat of a disaster.
To this end, DaBreo said equipment such as sirens, weather stations with 30-foot towers, smart radios and the like are being sourced in Germany, Venezuela, and the United States.
“We are trying our best to be ready. There was quite a substantial amount of money that was provided by the government to get the basics back in place and to expand the network and to do more things to ensure that we are ready for this season as well as other seasons,” she said at a press conference yesterday, May 2.
In the meantime, ahead of the hurricane season which begins June 1, a number of weather stations are already being installed.
One has been reinstalled in Capoon’s Bay and Paraquita Bay, while another was placed at Hodges Creek.
“Not every community is going to get a siren. Otherwise, we will be proliferating the entire BVI with sirens and I don’t think that’s the purpose,” DaBreo explained.
“Sirens are specifically for people who are outdoors who need some signal to tell them to turn to radio, television, or social media, to get information.”
According to DaBreo, the DDM has been engaged with the Caribbean Institute for Hydrology and Metrology, which has been ‘on the ground’ giving advice about how to reinforce the units.
They have also partnered with the BVI Electricity Corporation to ensure that the safety issues around local power stations are addressed.
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