On June 27, 2012 a work shop was held at the Radisson Fort George & Marina to discuss Disaster Preparedness Plan Workshop. The workshop was to enhance Tour Industry and Hotel Operators. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Atlantic Insurance Company Ltd., National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), The Red Cross, The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), and other key stakeholders attended the rewarding workshop.

Mr. Phillip L. Queen, Founder & Instructor of the Disaster Preparedness workshop shared some insightful information throughout the course of his presentation. As the day proceeded, there were several other presentations from different organizations such as BTB, NEMO, BTIA, Atlantic Insurance Company Ltd., and the Red Cross. The different points discussed were:

–         How should Hotel Operators and Tour Industry respond  in the case of a Natural Disaster

–         How would the country and individual persons prepare in the case of any emergency affecting the country.

–         What are the effects of natural Disasters, and how it would affect the tourism industry

–         What are the advantages in insuring businesses, properties or any valuable items

–         What are the different benefits offered by the International Red Cross, for the country, in the case of a natural disaster, and how would they respond to an emergency.

The information-sharing sessions at the workshop enabled participants to grasp an overall understanding in responding effectively to a natural disaster or emergency. Belize’s rainy season runs from June to mid-November, while the hurricane season runs from July to October, with the most active months being August, September, and October. Due to Belize’s vulnerability to hurricanes, it is an advantage to have an emergency preparedness plan to suit each organization’s needs. BELTRAIDE has an Emergency Committee, who creates the proper awareness to secure the organization’s property and assets, in the case of an emergency, especially, hurricanes.

It is recommendable to have a plan, evaluate, analyze, and ACT!