Bridgetown, Barbados, August 16 th , 2023 – The Caribbean Disaster Emergency
Management Agency (CDEMA), says it remains in a state of operational readiness,
following a recent updated prediction for an “above normal” level of activity for the
ongoing 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
On August 11th , 2023, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
explained in its latest outlook for the 2023 Hurricane Season, that due to current ocean
and atmospheric conditions, its Climate Prediction Center had increased their prediction
from near normal to an “above normal” level of activity.
“The outlook now includes a 70% chance of 14-21 named storms, of which 6-11 could
become hurricanes, and 2-5 could become major hurricanes. The updated outlook also
states that current conditions are likely to counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric
conditions associated with the ongoing El Niño event,” the official release said.
According to CDEMA, since the forming of Tropical Storm Bret on June 19, the regional
agency explained that a key component during this period is an effective emergency
telecommunication system, which is monitored daily. Further, communication is
maintained with the National Disaster Offices within the 19 Participating States, as
required, to ensure readiness in the event of a hazard impact.
CDEMA’s Deputy Executive Director, Lt. Col. Kester Craig said the agency’s Regional
Response Mechanism (RRM) made up of several “Response Teams”, and drawn from
individuals across the Caribbean Region, having been trained and placed on standby for
potential deployment in the event any of CDEMA’s Participating State is impacted. He
added that the Teams are; The Caricom Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU), Caricom Operating
Support Team (COST), Caricom Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (CDAC),
Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT), and the Regional Search and Rescue Team
The senior CDEMA official noted that a key feature of the response mechanism this year,
is a database of trained drone pilots who will be working closely with the Regional
Search and Rescue Team to support Damage Assessment in the event any of the
Participating States are impacted.
“There are many moving parts, but overall, we have continued to train and strengthen the
CDEMA System to support our Participating States to ensure safety of our people and
assets across the region,” said Lt. Col. Craig.