ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands – The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and FEMA are working together to better prepare for the upcoming 2018 hurricane season.
VITEMA Director Mona Barnes said, “We learned a lot from last fall’s unprecedented experience of facing two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, back to back, in such a short period of time. Using “lessons learned” VITEMA is working with FEMA to better prepare for the upcoming 2018 hurricane season.”
The following are some of the activities the two agencies are taking:
- The Territory and FEMA are updating the Territory’s operational processes and procedures. This effort is being conducted with nine Territorial agencies.
- A Table Top Exercise (TTX) is planned for late July between VITEMA, FEMA, other Federal Agencies, and identified partners such as the Red Cross. The Exercise will focus on validating the newly developed operational procedures.
- Sheltering and staging area plans are being updated as well as medical patient evacuation plans.
- Communications planning efforts continue in order to fill critical identified gaps.
- Emergency power generator planning continues.
Additionally, VITEMA is training its staff in a number of Incident Command System (ICS) functional areas. The ICS is the established, recognized operational structure to manage all homeland security activities, including prevention, protection, response, mitigation, and recovery.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after a disaster.
For official information on the recovery effort following the hurricanes, please visit www.informusvi.com or www.usviupdate.com. Follow us on social media at twitter.com/femaregion2 and www.facebook.com/FEMAUSVirginIslands. To sign up for emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts on the Virgin Islands, sign up for Alert VI or copy https://member.everbridge.net/index/892807736729008#/login into your browser.
To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org. For those who wish to help, cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources and pumps money into the local economy to help businesses recover. The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands also has the “Fund for the Virgin Islands” at www.USVIrecovery.org.