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T&T conducts Exercise FAHUM 2011

 

As a country which is vulnerable to a number of hazards – hydro-meteorological, seismic and industrial, Trinidad and Tobago must be prepared for both the expected and the unexpected. The recent tragedies in Japan, Chile and Haiti have also highlighted the importance of disaster preparedness and management. One way through which we can be prepared, is to test our systems, plans and standard operating procedures.

In light of this, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) in collaboration with the Government of the United States of America will be hosting the annual Allied Forces Humanitarian Exercise / Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias (FAHUM) 2011, during the period April 04 –15, 2011.

FAHUM 2011 is a multi-million dollar exercise which will be conducted to enhance the nation’s response capabilities and ability to operate with regional and international military forces (including the United States of America and Canada) and humanitarian assistance agencies. This 12- day exercise, which involves the participation and cooperation of several countries, is a great effort on the part of the participating countries to prioritise the need for disaster preparedness and management within the region.

This multi-national Exercise, which was planned since last year, will simulate a catastrophic earthquake event occurring in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago, thus requiring the implementation of national emergency response plans. Each governmental and non-governmental emergency/disaster response agency will therefore be required to respond in accordance with its respective emergency response plan to support the national response to this disastrous incident.

The National Security Council and the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago were briefed by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and other coordinators of this exercise and the Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar fully endorses and pledges the Government’s and agencies’ full support of and participation in this Exercise.

Additional information on the Exercise

Aim

The aim of Exercise FAHUM is to test Trinidad and Tobago’s response to a level 3 incident (a catastrophic earthquake) in order to foster interoperability and identify solutions to gaps found existing amongst local, regional and international humanitarian assistance/disaster relief agencies.

Exercise Concept:

The Exercise, the fifth major exercise to be conducted by Trinidad and Tobago, will simulate our country becoming affected by a catastrophic earthquake requiring a level 3 response. Initially, the national response mechanism will be put into effect, permitting the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) to coordinate the national response effort. As the exercise continues, the scenario will become increasingly complex and there will be the need for both the ODPM and TEMA to coordinate and manage the country’s return to normalcy through support requested from regional and international forces and agencies.

Execution/Format

Main activities:

Key tasks include the responsiveness of national emergency/disaster response agencies; integration and management of national capabilities; and the reception, integration and re-deployment of partner nations and agencies.

Closing Position:

At the end of the exercise, it is expected that Trinidad and Tobago’s disaster/emergency management agencies would have seamlessly integrated their capabilities with that of regional and international institutions, to successfully manage a catastrophic earthquake event and swiftly return the country to normalcy.

Objectives

This Exercise is designed to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Exercise Trinidad and Tobago, regional and international military forces and humanitarian assistance agencies’ disaster response plans and operational capability;
  2. Build the capacity of Trinidad and Tobago to respond to a devastating earthquake;
  3. Foster interoperability amongst national and external agencies to build usable, relevant and enduring capabilities for executing humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations;
  4. Conduct humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations using command post and field training exercise scenarios;
  5. Exercise the coordination mechanism between the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) and regional/international partner nations to synchronize, prioritize, and execute disaster relief operations, practising concepts such as the Humanitarian Operations Centre (HOC) and the Joint Operations Tasking Centre (JOTC).
Participants

Some of the key agencies involved in this exercise include:-

Government Ministries and State Agencies

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)

 Government Information Services Limited (GISL)

The Ministry of National Security (MNS)

 Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM)

 Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF)

 Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS)

 Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)

 Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT)

 Immigration Division

 Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force

The Ministry of Education

 National Schools Dietary Services Ltd.

The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA)

 Petroleum Asset and Monitoring (HSE/Measurement) Division

The Ministry of Finance (MOF)

 Customs and Excise Division

The Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs (MFPLMA)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)

 Bilateral Relations Division, Multilateral Relations Division, Protocol and Consular Division 

The Ministry of Health (MOH)

 Disaster Management Unit

The Ministry of Local Government (MOLG)

 Office of the Chief Disaster Management Coordinator

The Ministry of the People and Social Development (MOPSD)

 Disaster Management Teams

The Ministry of Housing and the Environment (MHE)

 Forestry Division

The Ministry of Public Utilities (MPU)

 Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)

 Telecommunications Service of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT)

 Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC)

 Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT)

The Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT)

 Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT)

 Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT)

 Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC)

 Mechanical Division

Tobago House of Assembly (THA)

 Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)

Non-Governmental Agencies

Global Medical Response Trinidad and Tobago (GMRTT)

Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio Society (TTARS)

Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio League (TTARL)

Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams (REACT)

Trinidad and Tobago Emergency Mutual Aid Scheme (TTEMAS)

The Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

United Way Trinidad and Tobago

 Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)

 Pan American Health Organization

Regional Agencies

 Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

 UWI Seismic Research Centre

 Conference of American Armies (CAA)

 Central American Joint Civil-Military Task Force

 Regional Security System (RSS)

Foreign Governments

The United States of America

United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)

Standing Joint Force Headquarters

U.S. Army South

Air Force South

Delaware National Guard

U.S. Military Liaison Office – Trinidad & Tobago

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
 
Canada

Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM)
 
The United Kingdom

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office
 
The Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Guyana Defence Force
 
The Republic of Suriname

Suriname Armed Forces
 

After a major hazard impact around the world, the issue of Trinidad and Tobago’s level of preparedness is always raised and is a concern of our citizens. This exercise therefore will test the country’s and agencies’ level of preparedness and identify the gaps that need to be closed in order to improve our situation and readiness for a major hazard impact.

The ODPM underscores that this exercise will not involve the general citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago and a consequence, there will not be any inconvenience. However, citizens, particularly in areas of Savonetta, Couva and Cumuto will notice an increased presence of personnel from regional and international armed forces in which parts of the exercise may be conducted.

Community sensitisation sessions with the abovementioned communities are as follows:-

Thursday March 31 – 5:00 p.m. – Church of the Nazarene, Cumuto Main Rd, Cumuto Friday April 01 – 5:00 p.m. – Couva South Fire Station, Couva

Additional information will be forthcoming as we approach the commencement of this exercise.

ENDS

Issued by:-

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit
868 640 1285 ext 14240/ publicinformation@odpm.gov.tt

For more information, please contact:

Dike Noel, Public Information Specialist – ODPM
868 486 8251 or 640 1285 ext 14240

Marcia Friedman, Public Affairs Officer – Embassy of the USA
868 310 3180

 

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