Turks and Caicos, May 11, 2017 – Providenciales – My Fellow residents and visitors to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), as Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management, it is one of my top priorities not solely during the Hurricane Season, but throughout the year and for all potential hazards. As disaster events can occur at any time, my Government and I are committed to building capacity within the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) and by extension building resilience throughout the TCI.
I have committed in the 2017/18 budget to address the need for a purpose built National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) with Warehouse facilities, two snorkel vehicles to traverse flooded roads during emergencies, emergency radio communication upgrade and retrofitting of shelters. I am also committed going forward to provide DDME with the requisite human resources that it need to effectively and timely carry out its duties.
Acknowledging the potential impact of a hurricane or high intensity weather system on the TCI’s economic prospects in particular, it is critical that we engage in proactive measures to mitigate any adverse effects. The TCI like many other Small Island Developing States within the Caribbean region, is heavily dependent on tourism as the main income generator. Tourism resources and related assets and activities are mainly located along the coast line and as such, are extremely exposed and vulnerable to the ravages of climatic hazards.
Let us be reminded that the effect of a hurricane impact on tourism is not confined to related infrastructure and assets, but can have a rippling effect throughout the entire economy and every aspect of our livelihood.
Additionally, let us remember the devastating impact on our economy, society and environment as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike in 2008. The level of impact to our well-being from events such as Hanna and Ike was directly related to our level of preparedness and the extent to which our resilience capacity has been established. In fact, it is not about whether or not a hurricane will hit but a matter of when. Unfortunately, no Scientist, Meteorological Office or the DDME is able to predict ‘when’. Therefore, I would like to advocate every Government Department, Ministry, resident, private sector entities, NGO, Churches, Civic groups to adhere to the DDME’s Hurricane Awareness Month theme ‘to prepare for the unexpected.’
I urge you to remain in a constant state of preparedness from June 1 to November 30, as these are the hurricane season months. I would like to encourage you to participate in DDME activities as advertised, prepare an emergency plan and be vigilant throughout the Season. Emphasis is placed on the Business community, especially Tourism Service Providers to devise and test Continuity Plans. Remember, the more prepared we are and the more we invest in building resilience, the less will be the impact we suffer and the better able we will be to recovery quickly and effectively following impact.
The Ministry will continue to be pivotal in the National Disaster Management Framework by ensuring partner agencies and security services maintain healthy work relationships throughout the year and especially so during the Hurricane Season.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the staff of DDME who has worked tirelessly throughout the year in preparing not just for Hurricane Season but the various other hazards that the TCI is vulnerable to.
Lastly, may we have a safe Hurricane Season 2017 and May God Bless You and Bless the Beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands.
Press Release: TCIG
Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.
The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.
The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year. In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.
In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.
Cruising should slow down says PAHO
By Dana Malcolm
‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.
“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”
Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.
Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.
A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.
Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1
By Dana Malcolm
#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”
Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.
Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour. Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands. In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”
Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.
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