Early Warning System project advancing

June 26, 2024 9:29 am

Representative of the department of The Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) together with the consultants of Insight Decision had a fruitful meeting with the Head of the department of Communications, Mr. Maurice Lake (second from left) on methods of Early Warning for St. Maarten.

The devastating impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017 served as a stark reminder of the destructive power of natural hazards and underscored the critical need for robust disaster management systems. There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of not being able to rely solely on technology for the EWS and the need to incorporate face-to-face communication methods. Also discussed is the need to ensure that all districts and communities in Sint Maarten have Community Councils and or district leaders who can be contacted in case of a disaster.

Recognizing this vulnerability and the importance of safeguarding lives and property, the Government of Sint Maarten initiated the project: the design of a modern and reliable Early Warning System (EWS). The EWS project focuses on implementing a reliable and effective early warning system for the timely dissemination of warnings and critical information to the public and relevant authorities. This involves utilizing multiple communication channels, exploring redundancy options, and enhancing public awareness and education. Ultimately the project strives to develop, inter alia, an end-to-end framework for Early Warning. This framework must also identify roles, tasks and responsibility as well as standardized messaging for early warning. This initiative is part of the RESEMBID Program, which aims to enhance resilience, promote sustainable energy, and protect marine biodiversity across Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories. Funded under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), this project focus on improving disaster preparedness and response capabilities in Sint Maarten.​