Disaster Risk Reduction & Mitigation Update

March 1, 2019 | 1 Comment

Minister of National Security Wayne Caines provided an update on the work performed by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team during the first two months of this year and the activities scheduled for the coming months.

Speaking in the House of Assembly today [March 1], the Minister said, “The DRRM team continues its Cruise Ship Contingency Planning. During the 2018 cruise ship season, the DRRM Team engaged the cruise ships and the stakeholder agencies for two exercises.

“Starting at the beginning of the 2019 cruise ship season in April, the DRRM Team, together with the various Seaport Security Officers, will be coordinating a series of activities with the various stakeholders that will involve them responding to a cruise ship major incident.

“At present, there are no formal contingency plans should a major incident occur at one of Bermuda’s Chemical Facilities. To increase expertise in this area, a member of the DRRM Team attended a chemical events workshop held in Miami for two days at the beginning of February. This workshop and the travel cost were paid for by Public Health England.

“In order to advance Contingency Planning, the DRRM Team has engaged with SOL and RUBIS who manage the Fuel Farm at Ferry Reach. On 24 January a Town Hall meeting was held at BIOS for residents. The intent of the meeting was to encourage stakeholder engagement in the development of contingency plans. Over the next several months, plans will be developed for the residents and premises in the Ferry Reach area so people understand what actions to take and not to take should an incident occur. These plans will include evacuation planning for the two prison facilities in the area.

“The DRRM team will be coordinating Bermuda’s involvement in a regional tsunami exercise involving Central America, South America and Caribbean countries on Thursday 14 March.

“The US Department of State and US Northern Command [Military], approached Bermuda Government to hold a Counter Terrorism exercise at the airport in 2020. Planning is underway with the US and Bermuda agencies for this exercise.

“On 6 November 2018, the Cabinet approved the Cybersecurity strategy for Bermuda. The Cybersecurity Governance Board has been appointed, with Mr. Ronnie Viera as Chair.

“Forming part of the DRRM Team is the National Events Planning Coordinator. This team member is engaged with the organizers of large public events in Bermuda to ensure that they are safely organized and professional in their approach. Active planning is underway for the safety and security of upcoming events including the MS Amlin Triathlon in April, Bermuda Heroes Weekend and the Annual Cup Match holiday weekend.

“Each year Bermuda diligently prepares for hurricane season. This year a DRRM team member will visit the British Virgin Islands in late March for a workshop on the lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This workshop is sponsored by the British Red Cross and members from the Bermuda Red Cross will also attend. It is anticipated that the lessons learned will be valuable to Bermuda. Our Hurricane Preparedness week will be the first week in June with the EMO having its first hurricane meeting.

“The work of the DRRM team is important in ensuring that Bermuda is prepared for any large scale disaster. I will continue to update this Honourable House on this work and the important work of all of the Departments and Units within the Ministry of National Security.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to update this Honourable House on the work performed by the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team during the first two months of this year and the activities scheduled for the coming months.

Mr. Speaker, the DRRM team continues its Cruise Ship Contingency Planning. During the 2018 cruise ship season, the DRRM Team engaged the cruise ships and the stakeholder agencies for two exercises. The intent is that the lessons learned from these exercise will be used by the cruise ship port agencies to develop comprehensive contingency plans to respond to any major incident that could occur on a cruise ship that is visiting or passing by Bermuda. Not only is this critical for the safety and security of the cruise ships, passengers and staff, but should an incident occur it is critical in safeguarding the reputation of Bermuda. To develop expertise in this area, a member of the DRRM Team attended a Cruise Ship contingency planning workshop in Miami for three days at the end of January. The trip was paid for by the UK, Maritime Coastguard Agency. This team member will return to Miami for part two of this workshop later this month.

Mr. Speaker, starting at the beginning of the 2019 cruise ship season in April, the DRRM Team, together with the various Seaport Security Officers, will be coordinating a series of activities with the various stakeholders that will involve them responding to a cruise ship major incident. The intent is to increase all agencies awareness, familiarization and preparation of what could be involved in response to a major incident onboard a cruise ship.

Mr. Speaker, at present, there are no formal contingency plans should a major incident occur at one of Bermuda’s Chemical Facilities. To increase expertise in this area, a member of the DRRM Team attended a chemical events workshop held in Miami for two days at the beginning of February. This workshop and the travel cost were paid for by Public Health England.

Mr. Speaker, in order to advance Contingency Planning, the DRRM Team has engaged with SOL and RUBIS who manage the Fuel Farm at Ferry Reach. On 24 January a Town Hall meeting was held at BIOS for residents. The intent of the meeting was to encourage stakeholder engagement in the development of contingency plans. Over the next several months, plans will be developed for the residents and premises in the Ferry Reach area so people understand what actions to take and not to take should an incident occur. These plans will include evacuation planning for the two prison facilities in the area.

Mr. Speaker, the DRRM team will be coordinating Bermuda’s involvement in a regional tsunami exercise involving Central America, South America and Caribbean countries on Thursday 14 March. This will be a communications exercise between the Tsunami Centre, the Bermuda Weather Service, and EMO agencies. The exercise will allow the DRRM team to ensure that communications measures are properly functioning and fit for purpose in the event of a tsunami emergency.

Mr. Speaker, the US Department of State and US Northern Command [Military], approached Bermuda Government to hold a Counter Terrorism exercise at the airport in 2020. Planning is underway with the US and Bermuda agencies for this exercise. The National Disaster Coordinator has been appointed as the lead planner for Bermuda on this initiative. It is anticipated that about 15 representative from the US will visit Bermuda in March 2019. A table top exercise to test the plans is being scheduled for June. The Counter Terrorism exercise will culminate in live exercise in 2020, involving all agencies for three to four days.

Mr. Speaker, on 6 November 2018, the Cabinet approved the Cybersecurity strategy for Bermuda. The Cybersecurity Governance Board has been appointed, with Mr. Ronnie Viera as Chair. The existing Government Cybersecurity Security Manager has been transferred to the DRRM Team, and is responsible for developing a number of strategies, policies and guidelines for the secure management of the Government’s information Systems.

Mr. Speaker, forming part of the DRRM Team is the National Events Planning Coordinator. This team member is engaged with the organizers of large public events in Bermuda to ensure that they are safely organized and professional in their approach. Active planning is underway for the safety and security of upcoming events including the MS Amlin Triathlon in April, Bermuda Heroes Weekend and the Annual Cup Match holiday weekend. These public events must be properly organized poorly to decrease the risk of a major incident occurs that could lead to injuries or jeopardize Bermuda’s reputation.

Mr. Speaker, each year Bermuda diligently prepares for hurricane season. This year a DRRM team member will visit the British Virgin Islands in late March for a workshop on the lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This workshop is sponsored by the British Red Cross and members from the Bermuda Red Cross will also attend. It is anticipated that the lessons learned will be valuable to Bermuda. Our Hurricane Preparedness week will be the first week in June with the EMO having its first hurricane meeting.

Mr. Speaker, the work of the DRRM team is important in ensuring that Bermuda is prepared for any large scale disaster. I will continue to update this Honourable House on this work and the important work of all of the Departments and Units within the Ministry of National Security.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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  1. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    Milkshakes are not available at Bermuda Cruise Ports.

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