Four-day training in disaster management | THE DAILY HERALD

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin (centre), EOC Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson (right) alongside World Food Programme and K1 DIRECT Management.

PHILIPSBURG–K1 Britannia Foundation’s Disaster Relief and Crisis Team K1 DIRECT, in collaboration with the government of St. Maarten, rounded off a four-day End-2-End (E2E) Supply Chain Management Training facilitated by World Food Programme (WFP) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The training brought together partners in disaster and supply-chain management, presenting their business-continuity plans and disaster-response capabilities, participating in supply-chain logistics and inventory-management activities, and discussing collaboration and long-term agreements for disaster response within the region.

Approximately 40 persons attended the training from various sectors, including local Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), non-profit organisations, international and local private-sector partner organisations, representatives of other islands and law enforcement, as well as the Ministries of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA and Government Affairs, Customs, the Dutch military, Red Cross, GEBE, Tropical Shipping, DHL, Maersk, Port of St. Maarten and Princess Juliana International Airport.

“This workshop highlighted each stakeholder’s role and responsibilities in the process, and will serve as a blueprint for how procedures should be followed in emergencies,” K1 DIRECT Programme Manager Iris Hakkens stated.

The training included presentations of the phases of the disaster cycle where participants gained an understanding of preparedness levels and key tasks to be completed and repeated for up to six weeks after a disaster.

In addition, presentations were given by Maersk, World Food Programme (WFP), Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), DHL, Rene Savelsbergh as an expert on civil/military collaboration, and others who shared their support/relief services, plans and logistic capabilities.

The training consisted of many group activities, most of which revolved around disaster management from five days before an impending category-4 hurricane up to response 72 hours after impact at a fictional island similar to St. Maarten.

“I loved the training because [it – Ed.] brought together more stakeholders than usual, as well as private-sector organisations that are really working together. We were able to gain some insight of their operations. We all experienced [Hurricane] Irma in some shape or form, so it was important we were all able to have this training, elaborating on the different elements and the actors who play a role in a disaster,” said Saba’s Disaster Management Advisor Pauline Kauffmann.

ESF7 coordinator Joy Arnell and K1 co-founder Priya Thirumur gave a presentation on the key undertakings that must be in place for the preparation for, immediate aftermath of and long-term response to a disaster.

Participants in the training learnt that formulating commitments such as long-term agreements and memorandums of understanding would ultimately save a lot of time and improve efficiency.

Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson said, “It is recognised that the E2E World Food Programme training is something that our community definitely needs. It highlights that we should reconstruct the process in St. Maarten and ensure that the delivery and distribution of relief goods happens in an effective and efficient manner. We really applaud all persons who participated [in the training] and look forward to structuring and implementing this into practice as soon as possible.”

WFP’s Head of Supply Chain in Barbados Frank Cawkwell expressed his gratitude to the participants in the training.

“Thank you to the government of St. Maarten, the Emergency Response Teams and K1 for their indulgence during the E2E Supply Chain Training. However, most of all, for the inclusion and warm welcome into their humanitarian resilience and response family. The mutual respect and desire for enhanced capabilities in advance of and during emergencies was evident in abundance,” Cawkwell said.

This training served as a platform for discussion and a starting point for collaboration between the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government.

“Preparedness is a team sport, and it was nice to see all the different departments of government, private sector and non-profit organisations come together to brainstorm, share knowledge and ideas, share challenges to be able to create a starting point for setting procedures and how to conduct the end-to-end supply chain on St. Maarten. It was a great step to collaboration and we look forward to continuing to grow and focus on preparedness as a country,” Thirumur said.

Source: The Daily Herald