The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is prepared to handle the predicted “above normal” level of activity for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently updated their outlook, stating a 70% chance of 14 to 21 named storms, with six to 11 potentially becoming hurricanes and two to five becoming major hurricanes.
CDEMA has emphasized the importance of an effective emergency telecommunication system and communication with National Disaster Offices within the 19 Participating States. This ensures readiness in the face of potential hazard impacts. The agency’s Regional Response Mechanism (RRM), consisting of various Response Teams, has been trained and placed on standby for deployment if any Participating State is affected.
One notable addition to the response mechanism this year is a database of trained drone pilots. These pilots will work closely with the Regional Search and Rescue Team to support Damage Assessment in the event of impacts to the Participating States. Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig, Deputy Executive Director of CDEMA, has expressed confidence in the preparedness of the agency and its commitment to ensuring the safety of the people and assets throughout the region.
While the specific factors contributing to the “above normal” hurricane season are not mentioned, NOAA’s updated outlook highlights the current ocean and atmospheric conditions as well as the potential counterbalance to the limiting atmospheric conditions usually associated with the ongoing El Niño event.
Overall, CDEMA continues to train and strengthen its system to support Participating States and mitigate the risks posed by the anticipated hurricane season. The agency’s focus on preparedness, communication, and the use of special sale drones for data collection in dangerous weather systems demonstrates its commitment to protecting lives and minimizing damage within the Caribbean region.