The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is ready to deal with whatever the weather slings at the Caribbean after a recent updated prediction for an “above normal” level of activity for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
On August 11, 2023, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in its latest outlook for the 2023 Hurricane Season, that due to current ocean and atmospheric conditions, its Climate Prediction Center had increased their prediction from near normal to an “above normal” level of activity.
“The outlook now includes a 70 per cent chance of 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 11 could become hurricanes, and two to five major hurricanes,” the official release said.
The updated outlook also states that current conditions are likely to counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing El Niño event.
According to CDEMA, since the forming of Tropical Storm Bret on June 19, a key component during this period was an effective emergency telecommunication system, which is monitored daily.
Further, communication is maintained with the National Disaster Offices within the 19 Participating States, as required, to ensure readiness in the event of a hazard impact.
CDEMA’s Deputy Executive Director, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, said the agency’s Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) comprised several “Response Teams” drawn from individuals across the Caribbean Region, having been trained and placed on standby for potential deployment in the event any of CDEMA’s Participating State is impacted.
He added that the Teams are; The CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), CARICOM Operating Support Team (COST), CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (CDAC), Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT), and the Regional Search and Rescue Team (RSART)
The senior CDEMA official noted that a key feature of the response mechanism this year was a database of trained drone pilots who will be working closely with the Regional Search and Rescue Team to support Damage Assessment in the event that any of the Participating States are impacted.
“There are many moving parts, but overall, we have continued to train and strengthen the CDEMA System to support our Participating States to ensure the safety of our people and assets across the region,” said Lieutenant Colonel Craig.
Source: Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)