By Samantha Simon
Antigua and Barbuda is among several countries participating in the annual Caribe Wave tsunami simulation exercise taking place today.
The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) is coordinating with local private and statutory bodies for this year’s exercise to ensure that the public is aware of the relevant emergency protocols.
The event seeks to test local alert systems and communication processes to identify opportunities and areas for improvement and gain public feedback on the overall process.
At approximately 10.30am Thursday, the general public will receive electronic alerts that will inform on the approach of a simulated tsunami.
While not essential, citizens are encouraged to download the CAP.CAP app from their Google or IOS playstore as it is a medium developed in Anguilla specifically for the rapid dissemination of information during emergency situations.
During the simulation, sirens will sound off in communities across the island with alerts also going out via the numerous telecommunication providers.
Participating radio stations will not be participating in this specific drill, but in the event of a real crisis one can expect a siren alert followed by details of the emergency and action steps one can take for their own safety.
A map specifying safe zones and shelters across the country is also being prepared for public release in the near future.
Preparedness and Response Manager with NODS, Anderson Tuitt, keenly emphasised a need for education on disaster protocols. He also encouraged the public and private sectors to reach out to NODS for training to develop emergency management skills for use within homes, workplaces and communities should disaster strike.