BVI News

JVD residents, businesses get training in disaster preparedness

Contributed photo of the recent meetings on Jost Van Dyke.

Residents and business owners of Jost Van Dyke are now better prepared in the event another major disaster affects the territory.

Deputy Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Dr Evangeline Inniss-Springer said residents participated in several training modules such as first aid administration, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, more commonly referred to as CPR.

Business owners on the island also received training in creating business continuity plans.

The BVI Red Cross conducted the Basic First Aid and CPR training while the business continuity plan was undertaken by the DDM.

Residents were also taught how to prioritize hazards, plan for an evacuation, and while continuing operations among others.

Business continuity plans

Dr Inniss-Springer said the three-day workshop was primarily for business owners to be ‘up to speed’ on the important things to know about business continuity.

“The lessons from 2017 illustrate that small businesses have to better prepare for the disruptions that come with any type of hazard impact and the first step in doing so is to have a well thought out continuity of operations plan,” she said.

Dr Inniss-Springer added that planning ahead will assist in identifying the risks and determining the best option to lessen the impact.

She said a pre-developed template done by the DDM was also given to the 25 participants from 10 established businesses to prepare plans of their own.

“Research has shown that businesses and their employees who function best after a disaster are usually the ones that have well thought out plans that constantly incorporate lessons learned. We are making a concerted effort to get our small businesses ready for any impacts that may come in the future,” she said.

Among their plans are to assist entrepreneurs to incorporate the plans into their daily routine so that it does not become burdensome when or if the time comes for the plan to be launched into action.

In the meantime, persons residing in East End/Long Look and Sea Cows Bay areas will get similar training opportunities in October.

The series of training was part of the two-year BVI SMART Communities Project.

The project aims to incorporate profound disaster management strategies to build resilience and reduce the vulnerability of the communities prone to climate change impacts.

The aforementioned communities were the targets of the undertaking because they have been identified by authorities as the communities most prone to flooding.

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