The importance of providing timely and accurate information, particularly to those most vulnerable to the effects of disasters, is not lost on the National Emergency Management Organization. Earlier today, government commenced a two-day seminar as an introduction to various stakeholders, including the met service, the fire department and other N.G.O. participants, to the Common Alerting Protocol, or CAP. The all-media public alert during emergencies establishes a standard for societies to achieve during all hazards. Minister Edmond ‘Clear the Land’ Castro was a guest speaker at today’s opening ceremony.
Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister
“This event is a two-day workshop dealing with the Common Alert Protocol System. It’s a system that will enhance our ability to deliver crucial information in terms of disaster throughout the country, especially to the most vulnerable people in our country. This system, the media, yourselves with TV, radio, the telephone companies, we’ll be able to send out the information to everybody basically warning them what is going on. A good example the other day was when we had that tsunami threat and some people didn’t get it. We had to use some of the local warning system that we had such as the fire engines with the sirens and wake up people because we know people dehn wahn come out once dehn hyah da fyah engine because dehn wahn know weh di fyah deh. So we will use, this system will allow us to utilize all sorts of media that we have in the country and bring us up to specs as it relates to the rest of the world.”
“We have our own systems in place, you just gave an example. Tell me a little bit about how this system one-ups what we already have in place.”
“Well basically we are trying to see, they are bringing us up to speed with the rest of the world. Currently in Belize we don’t have, whereby if you are on a cell phone, your daughter or your son is on a cell phone and they have their head stuck on their cell phone, we noh have the system in place yet to shoot to interrupt that message that they are dealing with and to get the information directly to them. So we need to take care of that segment of the population as well. Older people that might be at home watching their favorite television show, we’ll be able to interrupt that for a minute and give them the information as it’s readily available.”
The CAP Jump-start workshop concludes on Tuesday at the Radisson.