September 21, 2021

Emergency Notification System to become a reality in the Cayman Islands

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GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS; 5 March 2018

OfReg, and the Department of Hazard Management have joined forces to structure a plan for an effective emergency notification system (ENS) for the Cayman Islands.

A discussion paper has been issued by OfReg today for public consultation and is available at ofreg.ky/consultations.

The proposed plan includes the use of 12 communications channels that will work to ensure that emergency messages are delivered to as many people in the Cayman Islands as possible, in the most cost-effective manner possible through using existing technologies and platforms.

‘By leveraging existing technologies like FM radio and text messaging, and existing standards such as EAS (Emergency Alert System) and NWR (NOAA Weather Radio), we can maximise the effectiveness of the ENS while minimising the costs of such efforts,’ said Ian Callow, Project Manager at OfReg. Mr Callow has been working on this urgent project following the evidenced need for an innovative ENS, demonstrated by recent incidents such as the fuel depot fire at Jackson Point Terminal and the recent tsunami warning.

The operational plan includes SMS messages, sent out to all known local numbers in both mobile operators’ databases; FM Radio/cable TV alerts – auto-generated to interrupt regular programming to broadcast the emergency notification; the occasional use of low-cost text to voice messaging; sirens for localised threats in high risk areas such as the CUC plants and the Jackson Point terminal; social media broadcasts; and the development of a mobile phone app.

The Cayman Islands Government’s 2018 strategic policy statement identifies several key priorities for 2018 – 2021 and three of those align with an improved, innovative ENS: 1) stronger communities and support for the most vulnerable; 2) ensuring Caymanians benefit from a healthy environment; and 3) stable, effective and accountable Government. This EAS initiative works to increase the safety of all citizens and visitors of Cayman. ‘Safety of life has been a priority of OfReg and the former ICTA for years. For example, the ICTA worked with Her Excellency the Governor a few years ago to ensure mobile and telephone networks connected directly to 911 for emergency calls’ said Alee Fa’amoe, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of ICT at OfReg.

The main issue at hand is dealing with public safety and ensuring that people have immediate access to emergency information. J Paul Morgan, CEO of OfReg noted: ‘As OfReg, part of our mandate under the law is to protect the consumer. The ENS could potentially save lives through the timely delivery of emergency messages. There can be no argument that this is the highest form of consumer protection.’

Any comments on the discussion paper should be made in writing to OfReg by 5:00 pm on 8 March 2018; by email to [email protected]; by post to Utility Regulation and Competition Office at P.O.Box 2502, Grand Cayman KYl-1104; and by hand to the OfReg office at Alissta Towers, 3rd floor, 85 North Sound Road.

OfReg proposes to publish a decision on the proposed ENS design and implementation by the end of the second quarter 2018.

OfReg (the Utility Regulation and Competition Office) is the independent regulator for the electricity, information and communications technology, water, wastewater and fuels sectors in the Cayman Islands. OfReg also regulates the use of electromagnetic spectrum and manages the .ky internet domain.

The Department of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) oversees detailed hazard management plans dealing with natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes and man-made disasters such as large-scale accidents and fires.

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS; 5 March 2018 OfReg, and the Department of Hazard Management have joined forces to structure a plan for an effective emergency notification system (ENS) for the Cayman Islands. A discussion paper has been issued by OfReg today for public consultation and is available at ofreg.ky/consultations. The… Link: Emergency Notification System to become a reality in the Cayman Islands […]

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