During October a multidisciplinary hurricane exercise took place on Saba. The Emergency Services and Safety partners trained together with the Dutch Military, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Dutch Weather Services, KNMI. The goal of the exercise was to improve cooperation between various partners.
Unfortunately, this year, a Naval Vessel was unable to take part in the exercise and therefore an open day which includes a visit to a Naval Vessel was not offered to the public, as it has happened in previous years. The Naval Vessel, De Pelikaan, was called upon to support the international rescue effort on Haiti, where they are doing an excellent job.
In order to practice the rescue at a collapsed building, several volunteers played victims at the Saba Comprehensive School. Also the evacuation of the Old Age Home was practiced, where the clients of the Old Age Home were evacuated to the nearest hurricane shelter. The coordination level received calls from persons who were role playing as the Kingdom’s Representative, Media, concerned parents, Ministries in The Hague and ambassadors in order to mimic the pressure on that level during a real disaster.
An evaluation session occurred after the exercise, where all partners reviewed the satisfactory exercise. The evaluation of the exercise led to a number of lessons learnt that can improve the reaction of several safety partners in the future. During the upcoming couple of months, the lessons learnt will be used to help revise Saba’s crisis plans.