Hazard Management Cayman Islands Director McCleary Frederick was named the first international recipient of the Governor’s Hurricane Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to disaster preparedness and recovery.
The annual award, announced May 18 in West Palm Beach, Florida, is presented to a notable individual for “major contributions and outstanding accomplishments in the field of hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation at both the local and national level.”
Around 1,600 people from across the U.S. and Caribbean attended this year’s conference, put on by a private, nonprofit group.
The Lifetime Achievement Award has historically gone to professionals based in Florida, but was opened for the first time this year to regional applicants.
A conference representative said Mr. Frederick’s nomination and accomplishments stood out to the awards committee.
“His determination and commitment has made the (Cayman) Islands safer and more resilient, and has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers in the field and in the wider region,” the award nomination form stated.
“He has been instrumental in establishing a full-time disaster management office, and implementing an all-hazard approach to disaster management in the Cayman Islands.”
Mr. Frederick, who took over Hazard Management Cayman Islands in 2009, also helped secure funding for a National Operations Centre facility and directed installation of four seismograph stations, a sensor for the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program and several weather stations. In 2016, he helped establish the Disaster Preparedness and Hazard Management Law, which enables government to send emergency messages by cellphone, television and radio.
Mr. Frederick said the award took him by surprise. He attributed Cayman’s progress in disaster management to pioneers who came before him.
While Mr. Frederick has dedicated his career to disaster management, Hurricane Ivan sealed his dedication to the field.
“After living through Ivan and the devastation that Ivan caused, I feel it’s very important for us to have the country and citizens as prepared as we can. The more prepared you are, the easier it is to recover,” he said.
When Ivan hit in 2004, he oversaw recovery efforts in his district of East End and was appointed overall Damage Assessment Coordinator for the Cayman Islands. In 2008, he coordinated relief for Cayman Brac after Hurricane Paloma.
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson recognized Mr. Frederick for his work to promote safety in the Cayman Islands.
“Under his leadership, Mr. Frederick has helped build and maintain a culture of safety for the Cayman Islands, and continues to implement mitigation measures to minimize the consequences of natural disasters,” Mr. Manderson said.
“Mr. Frederick is a strong advocate for disaster preparedness and has greatly improved overall readiness for the country.”