The annual Caribewave exercise will take place in Barbados on Thursday, March 11.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s exercise will take the form of a communications test to evaluate the country’s response functions.
To do so, it will utilise all modes of communication that can be used before, during and after a disaster. These include landlines, cellular phones, email, WhatsApp, social media and other traditional platforms, such as radio stations.
As a result, residents across Barbados should expect to hear and see messages via the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) App via their cellular phones, email alerts, and radio interrupts across the 90.1 FM, 98.1 The One FM, SLAM 101.1 FM and Y 103.3 FM radio stations, on the day.
Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, is urging the public not to panic, as the messages being broadcast would indicate that it is a communications test being conducted as part of the Caribewave exercise.
She explained that on the day of the exercise, DEM’s communication team, along with representatives from the various agencies on the island, will test the normal and emergency communication systems at the national, district and agency levels.
This will be followed by an after-action review via the Zoom platform, which will provide information for the After-Action Report. This report is expected to be produced later this month.
Persons who have not yet signed up to receive email notifications are encouraged to do so by visiting www.dem.gov.bb and following the prompts. Alternatively, they may download the CAP.CAP application for Android devices from the Google Play Store, or the CAPCAP or OPTIMIT for Apple devices through the Apple Store.
The month of March is recognised as Coastal Hazards and Earthquake Awareness Month.