Sint Maarten delegation attends National Hurricane Conference


GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (GIS) – A delegation of civil servants returned over the weekend after attending the 2010 National Hurricane Conference (NHC) in Orlando Florida.

According to Head of the Disaster Management Office Paul Martens, deliberations at the conference focused on lessons learned from hurricane strikes; state of the art programs worthy of emulation; and new ideas being tested or considered.


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Other members of the delegation were: Fire Chief & Disaster Coordinator Winston Salomon, Sector ROB Beheer Edelmiro Jansen and Benjamin Ortega.

The main focus for disaster management officials were the tropical islands sessions, where presentations were given on hurricane experiences, coastal management, tsunami issues, and community disaster planning.

Disaster officials from Sint Maarten gave a presentation during the aforementioned sessions on the system of disaster management in the Dutch Caribbean. Sint Maarten is also co-chair of the Topic Committee Tropical Islands/Latin America.

A session that focused on fire departments was also attended.

Jansen and Ortega attended sessions related to engineering, recovery, debris management etc.

The primary goal of the NHC is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific.

In addition, the conference serves as a national forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve Emergency Management.

Conference delegates also discussed information about new or ongoing assistant programs; the ABC’s of hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation – in recognition of the fact that there is a continual turnover of emergency management leadership and staff.

Also attending from Sint Maarten was Roy Richardson from telecommunications provider UTS/Caribserve. He gave a presentation on telecommunications in hurricanes and other disasters during the tropical islands sessions.

The conference ran from March 29 to April 2 and took place at Hilton, Orlando.