Five days of hurricane drill exercises starts August 24; Several road closures planned

Silvanico Pauletta, Section Head Prevention, Preparation, and Education & Training at the Sint Maarten Fire Department announced on Friday that as of Saturday, August 24, the annual five day Hurricane Exercise (HUREX 2013) will get underway.


The community will see a noticeable increase in military and emergency response vehicles on the public road, hence there is no need for alarm as this is only a training exercise that the aforementioned are associated with.

Certain roads will be also be closed off or with limited access in connection with the live drills involving a number of first responder emergency services as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as Red Cross and Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

The road closure or those with limited access are Soualiga Boulevard and adjacent Pond Island roads on August 24 from 8.00am to 6.00pm. On August 28 Suckergarden Road will be closed in front of the former BBW building from 8.00am to 12.00pm.

The following disaster relief agencies will be involved in HUREX 2013: Fire Department, Police, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Shelter Management, Department of Communications (DCOMM), Red Cross, WIEMS, Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten, and a contingent of the Royal Dutch Marines.

HUREX 2013 entails the simulation of the passing of a hurricane and the aftermath, and how the various disaster relief agencies will work together in dealing with the situation.

Established government disaster processes will be tested from an operational level during a realistic scenario.

Since 2003 several disaster response services and relief organizations have been training together on an annual basis along with the Royal Dutch Marines under the HUREX banner.

Pauletta pointed out that good cooperation and coordination is needed by all partners during and after a disaster and therefore training is essential to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness.