Persons involved in the military have been lauded for their role in disaster preparedness.

This commendation was made by Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, while delivering the feature address at the third annual Barbados Cadet Corps International Challenge Camp last Sunday at Paragon, Christ Church.

Mr. Sealy pointed out that because of the relative peace enjoyed in the region, a large part of the focus of the military forces had to be in maintaining peace and security in times of disaster.

He said, unfortunately, "it is something we in Barbados have become quite flippant about. Some of our other neighbours in the region, because they have experienced hurricanes and earthquakes recently, tend to take it a little more seriously than we do."

Mr. Sealy stressed that as result of the vulnerability of the region to disasters, namely hurricanes, preparation was key. He reminded individuals that the Caribbean was also vulnerable to man-made disasters and those involving an aircraft or cruise ship would also "have direct implications on tourism" as well.

The Tourism Minister emphasised that in November 2007, Barbados experienced an earth tremor and expressed the hope that the population was prepared as much as possible "to mitigate against any disaster."

With regard to tourism preparedness, he said a Tourism Emergency Management Committee was created to bring into being a fully functioning Tourism Emergency Operating Centre. In fact, he added, "only recently they held an exercise with all the other stakeholders to discuss what is going on."


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