GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Hurricane Exercise 2016 (HUREX 2016) will commence on June 16 and conclude on June 29 with an evaluation meeting.
HUREX takes place on an annual basis and includes the 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) from the country’s Disaster Management Organization along with the Dutch military detachment based on the island.
The exercise takes place under the banner of the Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management.
The exercise allows all relevant government agencies along with the military to familiarize themselves with operational protocols in the event of a disaster and in this case a hurricane.
Various emergency services and military vehicles as well as personnel from various governmental and non-governmental entities, will be working together during the exercise, and the public will see a noticeable increase in activity in some districts and on the road network of the services which is part of HUREX 2016.
“The training is very important between the Dutch military and our national emergency response units. This year we have the participation of entities from the French side of the island.
“Training is essential in order to ensure that all services during a time of disaster can work effectively and efficiently together, and this is the objective of the annual exercise.
“Preparation is key, and I also encourage the population of the island to make sure that they are prepared for the 2016 hurricane season. Make your own home preparations and prepare your business as well, because it only takes one to make it a bad season,” Prime Minister William Marlin said on Monday.
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially opened on June 1 and runs through November 30.
This year’s HUREX will also include disaster assets from Saint Martin (French side).
During a recent meeting, a presentation was given by the Royal Dutch Marines with respect to their assets that they have on island and those overseas.
Five breakout session groups were put together during the meeting that discussed the following: public order and safety; shelters; medical; Emergency Operations Center matters; and Franco-Dutch Cooperation.
There were also several plenary presentations by sub-groups.
The Office of Disaster Management falls under the Ministry of General Affairs.