It’s not something any of us wants to think about, especially death as a result of a disaster.
But the builders of the National Hurricane Committee of the Cayman Islands have thought about it; long and hard.
Part of the newest National Hurricane Plan is a provision for mass fatalities.
It’s an issue that no one really wants to talk about, but one that must be discussed and planned for.
The plan addresses the possible impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis, airplane crashes, hurricanes and other bad storms.
When a mass fatality event occurs, a community must have in place a crisis response plan to effectively respond to the needs of victims and families.
The many tasks and challenges involved in crisis response and recovery efforts require prior planning to ensure that adequate resources are identified, procedures are in place and protocols are established.
Prior planning enhances a coordinated response when a mass fatality event happens and helps make it possible to meet the needs of victims and families.
The Cayman Islands plan includes the collection and initial identification of bodies, the notification of families and the final disposition of the victims, either in the Cayman Islands or through return to their country of origin.
The mass fatality plan kicks in if we have 15 or more deaths as a result of a disaster.
Lots of agencies would be involved and their actions clearly spelled out. There is even a provision for ensuring communication systems work and media is given accurate and current information.
It’s not the first time the Cayman Islands has had a plan in place to address mass fatalities, but this one appears to be the most thorough.
Talking about the possibility of mass fatalities in the Cayman Islands is a gruesome subject.
God forbid we have a disaster that brings multiple deaths along with property destruction.
But if we do, we can be confident that the National Hurricane Committee has done its homework and has a viable plan to deal with the atrocity of multiple deaths.