VITEMA and FEMA conduct joint disaster preparedness workshops with agencies and community partners

fema vitema workshop image
Members of the Virgin Islands National Guard offer lessons learned advice during joint FEMA/VITEMA preparedness workshops (St. Thomas)

The Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN, Inc.) attended joint exercises hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) July 29-30 (St. Croix) and August 1-2 (St. Thomas) designed to strengthen preparation and local response to disasters.

These “Hurricane Walk Thru Workshops” were divided into interactive morning and afternoon segments and covered actions to have been taken by 72 hours before a storm event, and the aftermath. As there are many events that give no advance warning such as major accidents, utility disruptions, and earthquakes, solidifying standard operating procedures facilitates an every-ready state.

Topics discussed included Points of Distribution (PODs), Shelters, Route Clearance, Telecommunications, Infrastructure and USVI Ports. Groups included representatives from both government and non-governmental entities. This resulted in added perspective and the development of lists of immediate action items.

A key component was a review of “Lessons Learned”, including but not limited to: where processes went awry; inadvertent omissions; mental and emotional health needs; public messaging; evacuation chains of custody; greater inclusion of the local ham radio operator community; accommodating seniors and those with medical and mobility needs and hearing/visual impairement; broken supply chains, water and other consumables; port availability and separation of the islands; and, the wellness of first responders and others who provide services.

More VITEMA/FEMA events are planned covering seniors, pets, continuity of operations, and community input. Be informed, participate and share these links with those you care about:

For more information on more upcoming events, contact VITEMA

2164 King Cross St.
Christiansted, VI 00820-4840
Tel: (340) 773-2244

6 Susannaberg
St. John, VI 00830
Tel: (340) 776-2244

VITEMA Headquarters
8221 Estate Nisky
St. Thomas, VI 00803
Tel: (340) 774-2244


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