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Digicel, DDM turn to technology to protect VI residents

-develops ‘Disaster Emergency Notification App’
An overhead view of Road Town after the 2017 hurricanes. Photo: Internet Source
Boats piled high in the BVI after Hurricane Irma. Photo: VINO/File
Boats piled high in the BVI after Hurricane Irma. Photo: VINO/File
Digicel’s CEO, Mr Kevin R. Gordon, used the occasion to remind of the company’s ongoing commitment to the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
Digicel’s CEO, Mr Kevin R. Gordon, used the occasion to remind of the company’s ongoing commitment to the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Jeremy W. Hodge. Photo: VINO/File
Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Jeremy W. Hodge. Photo: VINO/File
DDM Director Ms Sharleen S. DaBreo, speaking to the importance of the app, said that it would be a benefit to all residents of the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
DDM Director Ms Sharleen S. DaBreo, speaking to the importance of the app, said that it would be a benefit to all residents of the Territory. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Following the devastating hurricanes of 2017 in the Virgin Islands (VI), a new ‘Disaster Emergency Notification App’ developed exclusively for the Territory, was launched today June 27, 2018.

Developed in partnership with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and Digicel, ‘BVI DDM Alert’ was officially launched at the telecommunications company’s Offices.

Critical Information

DDM Director Ms Sharleen S. DaBreo, speaking to the importance of the app, said that it would be a benefit to all residents of the Territory in the event of hazards affecting the VI.

Ms DaBreo said, “the DDM is very pleased to partner with Digicel to create this very innovative system that allows cell phone users to immediately access critical information…the app serves as an important part of the Territory’s early warning system and is another means of allowing us to reach the masses.”

Real Time Notification

Digicel’s Chief Executive Operator (CEO), Mr Kevin R. Gordon, used the occasion to remind of the company’s ongoing commitment to the Territory in building back better, by using technology for the benefit of all.

He said, the BVI DDM app is effectively a real-time push notification tool that will make it easier for users in the VI and worldwide, to receive critical information directly from the DDM.

Mr Gordon told those present that the easy-to-use app, which is free to download for Android and iOS smartphone users, is further proof of Digicel’s commitment to the Territory by using its resources to build the new emergency alert system.

Hurricane Aftermath still fresh

Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr Jeremy W. Hodge also present for the occasion shared his enthusiasm saying, "I know that Irma and her aftermath is still fresh in our minds, and therefore has heightened the importance of finding innovative ways of keeping our residents informed of any threatening weather or other hazardous occurrences on the ground.”

He told those in attendance, “I am happy today that we are formally introducing an app that will have the capability to keep our public informed… Information via smart devices is definitely heading in the right direction.”

The ‘BVI DDM’ app will be solely managed by the DDM and is readily available on the Google Play Store for download.

For iOS users, however, the app will be made available for download on August 10, 2018.

4 Responses to “Digicel, DDM turn to technology to protect VI residents ”

  • NezRez (27/07/2018, 23:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    At least now I can get a weather warnings, and get out in time, since I cannot hear any DDM alarms where I live. This is good and I now have it on my phone home page. Thank you.
  • E. Leonard (28/07/2018, 06:08) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VI lies in hurricane alley with every year presenting a high probability that it can be hit by a hurricane, a major hurricane. In 2017, it was hit by two major Cat 5 hurricanes (Irma and Maria) within two weeks that resulted in thankfully only a deaths but decimated the territory causing approximately $3.6B in property damages, ie, infrastructure, housing, businesses, public safety facilities, government facilities.........etc. In large developed countries, ie, US, residents can evacuate safely away from the projected path of a hurricane. However, the VI is a small locale and most residents shelter in place in homes or go to a designated shelter. Consequently, to survive and minimize the impact of a hurricane, residents should take mitigative action, prepare well in advance, pay attention to various means of communication for information, ie, radio, TV, cell phone, internet.....etc , heed warnings......etc. Preparing should include procuring, storing and securing non-perishable food items, including water; acquiring a transistor radio and batteries, procuring medications, procuring cash, securing loose items/debris (avoid become missiles), identify and prepare safe room, shutter buildings (batten down the hatches), evacuate as needed, stay safe indoors until all clear is given, procure a portable generator........etc. Use the DENA to stay informed.
  • ----------------- (28/07/2018, 13:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    who this matter? The same inaccurate information will be seen
  • biker (28/07/2018, 13:02) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sounds like a great app before a tropical disturbance passes over the BVI. However, what is the back-up plan after a strong storm knocks out the internet and cell coverage for days/weeks/months? VHF radios are usually a better alternative for immediate post-storm communications. It would help if the old Tortola radio VHF station up in Chalwell could be activated before a strong storm arrives in the BVI providing that the new antenna could survive the storm.

    Hopefully Digicel's fleet of portable cell towers could save the day again!


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