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Hurricane Earl BVI Recovery Task Force

Tuesday, September 7 – The Disaster Recovery Task Force held its first meeting today to develop a strategy for the management of recovery efforts following the passage of Hurricane Earl.

The task force was formed as a next step in the information gathering process for disaster management. The committee, which met to review the Virgin Islands National Disaster Recovery Plan, is chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office Mrs. Rosalie Adams, and co-chaired by the Director for the Department of Disaster Management Ms. Sharleen DaBreo. The plan will be used to guide the committee’s operation over the coming months.

In relation to recent recovery efforts, the Permanent Secretary said, “To date, all efforts have been made to restore essential services and to provide immediate relief to persons significantly affected by Hurricane Earl. The task force will now focus on establishing a system for addressing short term and long term recovery activities.”

Mrs. Adams explained that the functions of the task force include the management of the recovery process with the intention of ensuring that needs are prioritised and met, oversight of Government's recovery strategy, provision of recovery services, submission of reports to Cabinet, documentation of damage assessment and costing of response actions as well as damage sustained to the Territory.

She also said, “Every effort is also being made to document lessons learned from this event and to ensure that the Territory remains in a heightened state of alert for the remainder of the 2010 hurricane season.”

A total of 17 action points were agreed upon coming out of the meeting with priority being given to the completion of the detailed assessment report by sector; establishing the cost of impact including cost incurred by the Government for response and cost of damage sustained within all sectors; completion of claims by residents within a two-week time frame; handling of the sunken vessels along the Territory’s coastlines; and determination of available stocks, including construction material, within the Territory.

Other members of the task force include the Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith; Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Ms. Arlene Smith; Director for Development Planning Unit, Mr. Raymond Phillips; Acting Chief Planner, Ms. Elizabeth Mwakosya; Director of Public Works, Dr. Drexel Glasgow Representative of the BVI Contractors Association, Mr. Dion Stoutt; President of the BVI Architects and Engineers Association, Mr. Courtney de Castro Sr. and Chairman of the BVI Building Authority, Mr. Greg Adams.

Hurricane Earl is the first tropical disturbance to impact the Virgin Islands for 2010. Initial physical impact assessments have been completed for Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada with Jost Van Dyke expected to be completed tomorrow.


The Development Planning Unit and the Department of Disaster Management are working together to establish an initial cost estimate of the damage sustained throughout the Territory. The cost assessment is expected to be available on September 10 and the detailed assessment report by September 21.

The Premier’s Office has been assigned the responsibility for leading the recovery process, as task force leader and recovery coordinator. The task force is multi-sector and multi-departmental committee.

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