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NEMO’s set with new headquarters

NEMO’s set with new headquarters


The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has received a brand new headquarters.

Last Friday the building, which houses NEMO and the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), was officially opened.

The new building is situated on the site formerly occupied by the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) at Old Montrose.{{more}}

It was constructed by local contractor Rupert McIntosh of Mac Construction at a cost of EC$1.9 million with resources from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and the International Development Association in support of the second phase of the OECS Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Programme.

Howie Prince, National Disaster Coordinator, said the ceremony was an extremely special occasion in the life of NEMO and disaster management in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

He said the opening of the headquarters was set against a backdrop of increases in the loss of human lives as a result of natural and economic disasters throughout the world.

Prince said that while plans are made for natural disasters, NEMO must also plan for terrorism and the dreaded Bird Flu disease.

“We are all at risk and must learn to deal efficiently with threats externally and internally. We must show aptitude and readiness to meet these challenges,” said Prince.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the edifice is the best NEMO headquarters in the Caribbean.

He expressed satisfaction with the completed project, adding that his administration’s accomplishments have not come about by chance.

“Sometimes when I look at the amount of work that we have done over the last four-and-a-half years I marvel,” said Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves.

Jeremy Collymore, Coordinator of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), presented a state-of-the-art satellite phone to NEMO.

In his address Collymore cautioned that a National Emergency Operations Centre Facility is a necessary but not sufficient condition for effective disaster operations management.

He said he is ancipating that procedures for the activation and management of the facility will be developed at the soonest and these will be exercised, at varying levels, prior to the next hurricane season.

Collymore mentioned that CDERA has developed several model tools that can aid this process. These he said included guidelines for facility outlay, EOC Operations, EOC Training Manual and Model Emergency Telecommunications Guide.

Collymore disclosed that over the last three years CDERA, with the support of its partners, has provided more than US$800,000 in direct and indirect support to St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Addresses were also made by René Baptiste, Parliamentary Representative for West Kingstown, B.T. Marksman, President of the SVG Red Cross Society, and Judy Thomas, National Disaster Coordinator of Barbados and Theresa Daniel, Consultant for NEMO.