To heighten awareness about being ready for disasters, the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency is holding the 2013 Annual All Hazards Preparedness Expo on all three islands beginning Thursday.
The theme of the 2013 expo is “Commit to Prepare for all Hazards,” which is a call to action for everyone to take steps to prepare their families, homes and businesses now – before disaster strikes. The Virgin Islands is vulnerable not only to tropical storms and hurricanes, but also to no-notice events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and man-made disasters.
“The annual expo is designed to provide a single venue for the community to access all of the information they need to prepare for and survive hazards – from what essential items they should stock to how to better protect their property,” said Elton Lewis, VITEMA director, in a statement from the agency.
“This is also an opportunity for everyone to see our first responders – who are vital in any disaster response – perform a number of rescue demonstrations. We encourage everyone to come out," Lewis said.
The expo brings together government departments and agencies, nongovernment organizations and local businesses that will provide the community with information on how to better prepare for, survive and recover from disaster.
The V.I Police Department, Fire Service, National Guard, Department of Human Services, Department of Planning & Natural Resources, American Red Cross, the Animal Shelter, Sister Hood and other agencies will participate. Private sector participants include Paradise Lumber, CaribSupply and a host of other companies.
On St. Croix and St. John, events will kick off with a first responder motorcade. First responders demonstrations including a rooftop and water rescue are also planned.
The expo is being held:
— Thursday, 1 – 6 p.m., Tutu Park Mall, St. Thomas.
— Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cruz Bay. On St. John the motorcade begin at Mongoose Junction to the Post Office to the Cruz Bay parking lot area.
— Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Buddhoe Park, Frederiksted. On St. Croix, the first responder motorcade will begin around 8:45 a.m. from the Canegata ballpark and make its way to Buddhoe Park in Frederiksted.
Expo sponsors include FEMA, Innovative, the V.I. Water & Power Authority, the V.I. Lottery, the V.I. National Guard and WSVI TV Channel 8.