National Disaster Prevention & Preparedness Month 2023 Launched With Public Alert Notification System

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National Disaster Prevention & Preparedness Month 2023 Launched With Public Alert Notification System

A Public Alert Notification System (PANS) has been launched as part of this year’s National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Month (NDPPM).

The NDPPM 2023 initiative was launched on Friday, April 28, 2023, at the Alternate National Emergency Operations Centre (ANEOC), Pineapple Drive, Mausica.

The NDPPM is observed annually in the month of May, with a series of activities, to create greater awareness of the various hazards our country faces and promote an increased level of attentiveness, disaster preparation and readiness before the commencement of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which starts on June 01 and ends on November 30.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Public Alert Notification System (PANS) is a mass notification system that allows the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) to provide emergency alert information nationally, to an affected area or a specific group. PANS will inform citizens of and visitors to Trinidad and Tobago of critical information during emergencies and provide timely information to protect lives and property.

Speaking during a recent press conference the ODMP’s Operations Manager Dennis Marcelle explained how PANS would work.

He said, “Through our day-to-day operations the ODPM will look at these various pieces of information which come to us, we assess the situation and then based on the level of threat perceived we can then generate an alert through this system through multiple platforms.”

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, also speaking at the launch, said such a warning measure would not only be of tremendous importance to the public but it would also ensure that the correct information is disseminated and therefore, save valuable resources.

Additionally, ODPM’s CEO Rodney Smart advised persons to download the app for the Public Alert Notification System to receive alerts.

He explained the difference between the app and other instant messaging is that with PANS the notification can be location specific and not nationwide.

Smart further noted that the system, which costs ODPM TT$400,000 annually, is backed by Everbridge app, which is also used in New York and other major cities and has been used by local agencies without encountering any problems.