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EMPA expert says Cayman is ready to deal with an earthquake, but gaps exist

Feb 05, 2019 Environment

One emergency management expert said on paper Cayman appears to be ready to deal with an earthquake. Visiting expert, US Captain Todd Livingston from the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme (EMAP,) facilitated Monday's (4 February) emergency workshop at the Government Administration building. It was aimed at hammering out a National Earthquake Plan for Cayman. Mr. Livingston said there are some gaps to fill in Cayman's plan. Mr. Livingston said he assessed Cayman's emergency response plan and he said it meets international standards, but adds Mother Nature often has a plan of her own. "I had the opportunity to do workshops with many other Caribbean islands and The Cayman's, by far has a much more robust emergency program and disastrous management capability. Cayman's building codes and all new construction that's coming through will be at a level that will protect the community from earthquakes to a certain level because you can't prepare for the worst scenarios," said Mr. Livingston. Even with that passing grade. Mr. Livingston said the Emergency Management Accreditation Programme is looking at ways to improve Cayman's plan when it comes to dealing with earthquakes. Home Affairs Minister Hon. Tara Rivers stressed the importance of mapping out a national plan. "Doing the prevention is better than cure type of situation is key, where people are expected to respond in extreme circumstances, but already have a plan in place to follow, as opposed to trying to figure that out in the event of a crisis," said Ms. Rivers. The team from the EMAP will be meeting with individual agencies this week on the national earthquake plan.