Cayman’s National Tropical Storm and Hurricane Plan is what is termed a ‘hazard specific’ plan and it sits under the main National Hazard Management Plan.

The Tropical Storm and Hurricane Plan specifies what actions are to be taken by which people before, during and after a storm impacts the Cayman Islands.

The organisational structure is headed by Governor Martyn Roper and Premier Wayne Panton, who co-chair the National Hazard Management Executive.

In addition to the Governor and Premier, the National Hazard Management Executive includes the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Governor, Members of Cabinet, Financial Secretary, Attorney General and Commissioner of Police.

The National Hazard Management Policy Group also forms part of the disaster response structure and is tasked with making policy decisions and resolving conflicts referred by the director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) or the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) manager. The policy group is led by the Deputy Governor.

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SUPPORT TEAMS

The NEOC includes 18 emergency support teams (ESTs) which are made up of personnel from various government agencies, and representatives from the private and volunteer sector.

The ESTs in Grand Cayman are grouped into clusters to maximise operational efficiency. These support teams have various areas of responsibility such as debris clearance, shelter operations and joint communications.

The NEOC, in the Government Administration Building, serves as headquarters to direct and coordinate a response. This centre can communicate via telephone, fax, radio, SMS or email, VHF marine aeronautical channels and other land mobile radio frequencies, plus satellite phones.

There is also a call centre attached to the NEOC, which may also be used as a back-up for 9-1-1 calls.

In addition, a crisis management tool called WebEOC allows authorised persons to access information regarding mission tasks and significant events from anywhere in the world (provided that internet is working), so UK naval ships that may be en route to support the Cayman Islands can maintain full operational awareness of activities in the NEOC.

The government radio communications network is available on all three islands; each island system is capable of independent operation if it becomes disconnected from the rest of the network.

The responsibility for declaring a hurricane alert rests with John Tibbetts, director general of the National Weather Service, in consultation with Danielle Coleman, director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, and Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor and chairman of the National Hazard Management Council.

When an alert is declared, the public is advised through media releases. EST chairpersons notify their team members.They are listed below with their chairpersons.

SUPPORT SERVICES

JOINT COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES provide a framework for ensuring that accurate and timely information is communicated locally and internationally. (Suzette Ebanks)

CONTINUITY OF OPERATIONS refers to the continued functioning of constitutional government under all circumstances. (Gloria McField-Nixon)

RESOURCE SUPPORT arranges for the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment and/or personnel required to meet immediate needs. (Wendy Manzanares)

RELIEF AID MANAGEMENT is responsible for coordinating all efforts related to management of relief aid. (Richard Smith)

ECONOMIC CONTINUITY provides liaison between private and public sector during response and recovery operations. (Wil Pineau)

Cluster manager is Kathryn Dinspel-Powell.

EMERGENCY SERVICES CLUSTER

EVACUATION applies to both residents and visitors. The Department of Tourism will assist in coordinating visitor transportation to the airport. Residents may be ordered to evacuate an area of the island declared unsafe. (Albert Anderson)

LAW ENFORCEMENT will be provided by police officers deployed in shelters and identified key areas. (Sean Bryan)

SEARCH AND RESCUE operations are the shared responsibility of the police and fire services. (Paul Walker and Robert Scotland)

THE COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM will usually provide the first responders. (Red Cross and HCMI)

Cluster manager is Adrian Seales.

HUMAN CONCERNS

SHELTER OPERATIONS will provide shelter to those in the community who are unable to find appropriate shelters for themselves, with priority for elderly people, hospital patients, essential workers and their families. (Nicole Carter and Cassandra Fearon)

MEDICAL RELIEF activities can range from basic first aid to assistance for the management of mass fatalities. (Lizzette Yearwood)

MASS FATALITY MANAGEMENT addresses the potential impact of disaster conditions which result in substantial loss of life. (Peter Lansdown)

VOLUNTARY AGENCIES RESPONSE serves as point of contact for all non-governmental organisations, voluntary agencies and non-profit organisations wishing to play a role in the disaster management process. (Red Cross and HMCI)

MENTAL HEALTH (Dympna Carter)

Cluster manager is Paulinda Mendoza-Williams.

INFRASTRUCTURE

UTILITIES coordinate technical responses to ensure the integrity and/or restoration of communication and utility systems as quickly as possible. (Gelia Frederick-van Genderen)

INITIAL CLEARANCE AND DEBRIS MANAGEMENT provides emergency responders access to obstructed areas, then ensures safe disposition of debris. (Richard Simms)

DAMAGE AND ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT coordinates all detailed assessments, which will provide government leaders with critical information for establishing the recovery operation and returning the nation to a fully operational status. (Adolphus Laidlow)

COMMUNICATIONS restores information communication services that may be affected as a result of a disaster. (Sonji Myles)

Cluster manager is Jon Japal.

THE SISTER ISLANDS EMERGENCY COMMITTEE is differently constituted but deals with the same responsibilities. It is linked to the National Hazard Management Executive and the National Emergency Operations Centre. Representatives are Ernie Scott and Mark Tibbetts.

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