The progress in emergency response seen during this year’s Hurricane Exercises (Hurex) held last week on Saba was deemed as significant by participants in the annual disaster simulations which brings together the emergency services of the island and the Royal Dutch Marines. This year the marines consisted of a detachment of marines stationed on St. Maarten. The HNLMS Pelikaan, which is based in Curacao, was also a part of the exercises, providing logistical support.
The week of activities consisted of realistic scenarios where the involvement of the emergency services and the marines was necessary. The scenarios included a coordinated response to a Category 4 hurricane approaching and affecting the island; a simulated crash at the airport that resulted in casualties and an evacuation of the island due to a natural disaster. Throughout the week there were evaluations of the response and the communication between the units involved by trained observers.
There was also an Open Day where residents could see firsthand the various activities which the marines are involved in. They were given demonstrations of equipment and skills which make the marines a force to be reckoned with.
The Public Entity Saba is continuously striving to improve the disaster management organization on the island so that it is prepared to respond in event of a crisis. Simulations such as the Hurex allow the organizations to identify factors that may need to improve in order provide a more efficient and effective response during a disaster.
Saba Government Information Service.