Media Urged to Play Greater Role in Disaster Management
March 10, 2006

Media Urged to Play Greater Role in Disaster Management

“The media has an important role to play in disaster awareness and preparedness.” These were the words of Theresa Daniel as she spoke at a Disaster Management workshop last Thursday. Daniel, who holds the position of Media Consultant to the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), pointed out that the media’s role is to provide timely, reliable and accurate information, and that they play a significant role in saving lives during the disaster cycle. She also noted that critical information could mean the difference between life and death. {{more}}

She said the Emergency Broadcast Protocol (EBP) would be one of the avenues to facilitate getting the information on natural disasters out throughout the length and breadth of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Picking up where Daniel left off was Grenadian Journalist, Michael Bascombe who spoke about the recent devastating hurricane Ivan which left the Spice Island in a dilapidated state. Bascombe related that his country had been very slow to react to the hurricane. He said that Grenada had not been well prepared to face Ivan. He stated that there was no one to blame but themselves for being unprepared. He also made the point that getting vital information to the people was in some cases futile.

The journalist said that for the broadcasting of information on natural disasters to be done properly, there must be special persons assigned to do that and not the local “disc jockey.”

He noted that in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, they were much better prepared and handled the disaster like they should have done in the first instance.