Col. Daryl Jaschen, Governor Albert Bryan Jr.’s nominee to head the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), conducted the second of a series of ongoing meetings of the Emergency Management Committee (EMC) to coordinate the disaster response efforts of all the agencies within the Bryan-Roach Administration.
Bryan and his cabinet, as well as representatives from FEMA, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority, the Virgin Islands Port Authority, other agencies and members of the governor’s staff attended the meeting, which took place May 16 at VITEMA headquarters on St. Thomas.
In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins on June 1, Director-nominee Jaschen led the discussion on a number of topics, including communications, pre and post-storm storage, resources available for distributing after a storm, storm shelter options and other related issues.
The committee also heard reports from some of the different agencies in the Bryan-Roach Administration.
Property and Procurement Commissioner-designee Anthony Thomas gave an update on procuring and maintaining the territory’s supply of oxygen, the purchasing and storage of fuel, and post-storm procurement and contract procedures.
Bureau of Information Technology Director-nominee Angelo Riddick gave an update on the government’s data storage capabilities and recent upgrades to 11 communications towers that the bureau administers. Riddick also provided an update on the government’s cloud migration strategy for data, and various types of communication equipment to allow seamless communication between agencies after a storm.
Health Commissioner-designee Justa Encarnacion gave details about the territory’s current and future supply of oxygen, the official opening of the Myrah Keating Clinic and modular facility on St. John, and the status of medical facilities in the territory.
Human Services Commissioner-nominee Kimberley Causey-Gomez provided status updates on the shelters available throughout the territory before and after a storm as well as the plans for deploying them, the department’s strategy for feeding residents after a storm, and its plans for administering emergency first aid to residents in need.
Virgin Islands Fire Service Director-designee Daryl George Sr. gave an update about the fire stations in the territory, available equipment, including fuel trucks in each district to be used to supply other agencies’ generators, and the department’s plans to deploy search and rescue teams in both districts.
The next EMC meeting is scheduled for June 20.