Tuesday 12 June
A meeting was held at the Traveller’s Club in London on Tuesday 21 June to facilitate discussion between the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda, particularly in relation to hurricane recovery, mitigation, preparedness.
The Cayman Islands hosted the event as a continuation of a meeting held in Miami earlier in the year, as requested by Overseas Territories affected by recent hurricanes and served as an opportunity to take stock and how Territories can continue to assist each other and plan, prepare and mitigate potential disasters.
Personal thanks were given to the Cayman Islands from Anguilla who also gave updates on their recovery process. The British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands also gave updates on the recovery process.
Hon Alden Mclaughlin said “This meeting is productive opportunity for Overseas Territories affected by natural disasters to come together and share knowledge and best practices for disaster mitigation and preparedness. We are able to use this forum to talk through shared challenges and developments.”
Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister responsible for Hazard Management under the Ministry of Home Affairs, updated the table about about Cayman’s position and developments in Disaster Preparedness. “Having had the opportunity to see first hand the devastation caused to BVI, TCI and Anguilla, and through the assistance provided by the Cayman Islands last year on the ground in those territories, we have learned many valuable lessons. Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) has reassessed and looked for ways to strengthen our own disaster preparedness, response and recovery plans and mechanisms.” Regarding the discussions that ensued at the meeting, Minister Rivers further commented, “It was heartening to hear the solidarity expressed among the Overseas Territories in relation to supporting those Territories affected by last year’s devastating hurricanes. It is clear that the unified approach taken by not just the Caribbean Territories but all of the OTs has had an impact on the UK Government’s and the FCO’s approach to these matters. I Iook forward to participating in future discussions with the OT Minister to help establish a better coordinated approach and mechanisms for support of the OTs in times of need such as this.”