The focus was on Early Warning for All on Thursday, as Antigua and Barbuda celebrated the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR).
The United Nations General Assembly has designated October 13 as the International Day to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction.
The day focuses on one of the targets of the Sendai Framework: “Substantially increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to people by 2030.” The Sendai Framework is an agreement endorsed by the UN General Assembly that focuses on the adoption of measures that address disaster risk.
Early warning and preparedness enable early action to preserve lives and safeguard properties.
The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has been improving on efforts to enhance Antigua and Barbuda’s National Early Warning System through the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).
Several countries throughout the world utilize the CAP to send emergency alerts on hazards, giving details about what could be expected and safety actions that individuals should take.
Antigua and Barbuda’s CAP system has access to smartphones, emails, and just recently radio and television interrupters, which break regular programming to bring emergency alerts.
ABS was the first media house to install the system and four private radio stations were added to the list last week – Observer Radio, Zoom Radio, Radio Lighthouse and God First Radio.
Last Friday, a test was conducted with the stations just before 6am, which from all reports, was successful.
The CAP also allows for sirens to be included; an option that has been discussed with key agencies in Antigua and Barbuda.