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HomeNewsArchivesGovernment Hires Disaster-Preparedness Consultant

Government Hires Disaster-Preparedness Consultant

July 7, 2008 — The V.I. Office of Homeland Security has hired a disaster-preparedness consultant firm that helped Louisiana revamp hurricane plans after Katrina and Rita, officials announced Monday.
James Lee Witt Associates, the crisis management and preparedness division of New York City-based GlobalOptions Group, signed a one-year contract to provide expertise on a range of disaster preparedness, protection, response and recovery activities for the Virgin Islands, the company announced.
The announcement comes as the first named hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season, Bertha, swirls some 750 east of the Leeward Islands. The storm is projected to turn north toward Bermuda, but it would pass directly over the territory if it continued on its current path.
Mel Vanterpool, director of the V.I. Office of Homeland Security, told the Source that James Lee Witt Associates would provide expert consultant services, not actual mitigation planning.
"With the recent onset of hurricane season, we are reminded how important it is to keep our plan updated," Vanterpool said in a public statement. "Our biggest threat in the Caribbean is hurricanes, and we hope that other islands will join in and take similar actions before the next disaster strikes us."
Details of the year-long contract, including financial information, were not immediately available.
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