NDMO prepares for new cyclone season

Participants of the emergency operations centers (EOCs) raining in Nadi earlier today. Picture: SUPPLIED

GOVERNMENT service providers in Nadi today began a three-day training focusing on disaster management procedures – prepping ahead of the new cyclone season, which begins on November 1.

The training facilitated by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) on emergency operations centers (EOCs) included personnel from the Department of Social Welfare, Department of Justice, and Ministry for Health, Bureau of Statistics, National Fire Authority and Fiji Police Force.

According to a media statement from Government, the training is one of ten training sessions being implemented around the country with support from the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP)- a European Union-funded project implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

“By upgrading emergency facilities and up skilling officers who work in these facilities, we are improving national disaster coordination,” NDMO permanent secretary Meleti Bainimarama said.

“Having uniform disaster management procedures in each province will allow the National Disaster Management Office to gather accurate and relevant information, across the country, to coordinate appropriate response in a timely fashion.

“The better, we, as a nation, prepare for disasters, the shorter the recovery time will be, and that is ultimately the aim.”

The training covers a range of skill sets in activating and managing EOCs during disasters, the application of proper operational procedures, collating and dissemination of information and the closing of centers, to essentially outline the role of each EOC officer before, during and after disasters.

BSRP project manager Taito Nakalevu said officers would be certificated in EOC operations and be able to effectively coordinate emergency responses before, during and after a disaster, with the workshop being an accredited technical and vocational education training (TVET) course.

“The BSRP Project is proud to support this government led activity, as it contributes directly to strengthening national disaster management, which is the projects main objective,” he said.

This training is one of several activities between the BSRP and NDMO, with EOCs around the country also being refurbished.

The training will include a simulation exercise on the final day. This training at the Nadi EOC is the fifth of 10 sessions, with the next to be held in Lautoka next week