On March 14, the U.S. Virgin Islands participated in the CARIBE WAVE 2019 Tsunami Warning Exercise. The exercise consisted of a live test of the territory’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) capabilities. The live test of the EAS and WEA confirmed that VITEMA will be able to deliver mass emergency notifications to U.S. Virgin Islands residents via radio, television, mobile devices, landline, email and social media outlets.
According to the www.TsunamiZone.org website, more than two-thousand U.S. Virgin Islanders registered their participation in the CARIBE WAVE tsunami exercise. No incidents or injuries related to the exercise were reported to the 9-1-1 Emergency Call Centers territory wide. The CARIBE WAVE Tsunami Warning Exercise provided an opportunity for residents to build resilience by exercising emergency communications, reviewing tsunami response procedures and promoting tsunami preparedness throughout the territory.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) server, WEA and EAS tests were successful. All major cellular carriers in the territory received and broadcasted the WEA. Additionally, the EAS delivery report showed a status code ‘EAS 500,’ which means the alert to EAS was a success.
“Tsunami preparedness in the territory must continue to be an ongoing process,” said Acting VITEMA Director Denise Lewis. “VITEMA will continue to work towards accomplishing its mission, which is to save lives and protect the property of the territory’s population from threats and risks from natural and man-made hazards. Through planning, coordinating, training and exercising, we will ensure our territory remains prepared and resilient.”
Visit the VITEMA website at www.vitema.vi.gov to complete a brief survey on the live EAS and WEA tests. The survey will be available until midnight on March 23 and will provide VITEMA with additional data on the live EAS and WEA tests.
To sign up for emergency, weather related, public safety and service disruption alerts in the U.S.V.I., sign up for Alert VI by visiting www.vitema.vi.gov.