Hazard boss wins regional gong

| 22/05/2017 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

McCleary Frederick

(CNS): With just a few weeks to go before the official start of the 2017 hurricane season, Cayman’s local disaster expert has landed a regional gong at a hurricane conference in Florida. The director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), McCleary Frederick, who is responsible for managing and coordinating all disaster management, including hurricanes, became the first international recipient of the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 31st Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Palm Beach this week.

According to a release from Government Information Service here, Frederick was recognised for his “major contributions and outstanding accomplishments in the field of hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation at both the local and national level”.

Since taking over as HMCI Director in August 2009, Frederick established the full-time disaster management office and implemented an all-hazard approach.

“Under his leadership Mr Frederick has helped build and maintain a culture of safety for the Cayman Islands, and continues to implement mitigation measures to minimize the consequences of natural disasters,” Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said. “Mr Frederick is a strong advocate for disaster preparedness and has greatly improved overall readiness for the country.”

The deputy governor said Frederick’s determination and commitment have made these islands safer and more resilient. “He is entirely deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award,” Manderson added, as he congratulated Frederick, and said he had provided the Cayman Islands with the tools and support it needs to withstand and endure through any type of threat.

During his earlier tenure in the Cayman Islands Planning Department and while at HMCI, Frederic helped develop the Disaster Preparedness and Hazard Management Law, 2016.

When he took over as HMCI head, the National Operations Centre (NEOC), which is activated in response to national threats and disasters, did not have a proper facility. He helped design and secure funding for a new modern purpose-built communications centre with adequate space and state-of-the-art software, according to the releases..

Officials said that Frederick oversaw the installation of four seismograph stations, a sensor for the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program and a number of weather stations throughout the islands. In 2004 when Hurricane Ivan devastated the Islands, he led the recovery of his district of East End and was appointed as the overall damage assessment coordinator for the Cayman Islands. In 2008, he coordinated relief distribution as the national relief coordinator when Hurricane Paloma directly hit Cayman Brac.            

Frederick is also credited with enhancing the Geographical Information System (GIS) capability of the department to improve capacity for post impact damage assessments and to develop and improve vulnerability and risk mapping. The HMCI director has also produced a draft contingency plan for an oil spill in the Cayman Islands that can respond to marine oil spills to minimise the threat to marine life, fisheries, ecologically sensitive areas, recreational beaches and human health. The plan is now in the final editing stage.

Under Frederick, HMCI took over operational responsibilities for the emergency shelters and has since overseen a complete upgrade of all standby generators, installation of directional road signs to make it easier to find emergency shelters and made the shelters handicapped accessible.

In July 2011, Frederick launched the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programme in the Cayman Islands. Since then, six CERT teams have been established, with more than 150 volunteers. In August 2012 he established an Urban Search and Rescue Team for the Cayman Islands, for which 14 men and one woman successfully completed a five-week intensive training course. The team made history by becoming the islands’ first qualified urban search and rescue team. Frederick has also established a regular training programme for all first response agencies in the Cayman Islands.

Officials said that Frederick coordinates and develops numerous large-scale simulation exercises and tabletops, including the annual Cayman Islands Hurricane Exercise, port exercises, aircraft accident exercises, mass casualty exercises and the Cayman Islands cruise ship disaster exercises. He also created the Hazard Risk Management Education programmes that have been mainstreamed in schools across the Cayman Islands and a Youth Hazard Awareness Activity Book was produced and distributed to the schools.

In March 2017, during the Caribe Wave Tsunami Exercise, the Cayman Islands tested an Emergency Notification System (ENS) by sending SMS messages to all phones in the Cayman Islands. This was the first step of Frederick’s goal of implementing a modern ENS system that will eventually include the capability of sending critical alerts out for broadcast on all radio channels, place crawling texts on all television screens and messages to mobile devices.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Donnie says:

    Congratulations Mc on being presented with this award. It is well-earned and I am personally grateful for the commitment you showed in taking up this challenge post-Ivan and running with it when you had other options you could have chosen. You have achieved much since then and we are all better off because of your efforts.
    Please don’t let the detractors offend you. We all know that there is bone in most fish and that is certainly true when it comes to serving the public.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    It may be useful to remind many in the room that Florida has a governor as well.
    Re-read the article folks.

    Thereafter many of you will be embarrassed that your true colours and deep-seeded prejudice towards all things and people local have been exposed.

    Sad.

    – Who

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how much they would achieve without the Red Cross disaster team to fall back on and learn from.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure Mr Frederick is a very nice gentleman, and while I cannot speak for everyone, I am so tired reading about awards for this and awards for that, for what seems to be what they are paid to do. When did we get so insecure that we now feel the need to pat ourselves on the back for showing up to work? Let us remember there are real heroes out there that live their whole lives without seeking or accepting recognition.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What??? Listen buddy people in private sector and government get awards all the time for doing their jobs. There is nothing wrong with recognizing someone for what they do. Mr. Frederick isn’t insecure and he isn’t patting himself on the back, he simply accepted the recognition of his hard work. So many complainers. But if the time comes again you will all be very happy for Mr. Frederick.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And therein lies the problem, getting awards ‘all the time’. If there is ‘Nothing wrong with recognizing someone for what they do’ than we would be recognizing 90% of the population. Sorry, not convinced this the right way to go. Truly altruistic people do not accept awards, they do not seek recognition.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well, what appears to be the majority of these comments proves his is often a thankless job.

    Amazing.

    Anyway, these are likely the same ones that will be lining up at ORIA when the next one hits.

    😉

    Congrats again Mr. Frederick.

    – Who

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  6. Cybel Serviant says:

    Frigging Gong Show more like. Still waiting on that text message!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hazard Management is one of these do nothing departments. When the disaster strikes, they do even less as it is, quite rightly, left up to ministries and departments to put into action their recovery plans.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ahem actually that’s not true. First of all Hazard Management is involved in making sure that those plans are actually realistic and useful when they are needed. Secondly, as we learned after Ivan, each disaster has its own unique set of circumstances. Hazard Management’s job is to ensure the proper planning, response, communication and coordination before and after s disaster to ensure continuity. The various Ministries are able to get on with it because of the work that Hazard Management does prior to an event. Your mother…. should have told you if you have nothing good to say you’re probably just a miserable prick.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I have to give Frederick and HMCI an “F” in the Tsunami Warning category. With much fanfare and build-up, and months to prepare for our Tsunami SMS test message on March 21st – I don’t know anyone who actually received any SMS of that kind on that date. Are HMCI pretending that those SMS messages went out? To whom? How many? What were HMCI’s criteria for determining who got to survive the inbound tsunami? Glad it wasn’t real, that’s for sure.

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    • Anonymous says:

      11.37am Not sure what happened with your phones but I received the text message on my two numbers . One was later than the other but I certainly received them. My carrier is Flow, maybe it was the fault of your carrier, or location .

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      • Anonymous says:

        We have 4 Digicel and 2 Flow devices (a mixture of pre-paid and pay as you go) – all in good standing and credit, with no SMSs received to any of them. We were actually excited to receive the test messages that never arrived!

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        • Anonymous says:

          So let me get this straight. Hazard management is somehow responsible for you not getting your texts. So what, you think they are sitting in their office plugging in every number in the country and missed yours by mistake. If you didn’t get it you need to speak to your carrier as all hazard management is doing is using the carrier’s platform to send the messages. I got mine no problem.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks, myself and thousands of others will try to remember that when we’re dead.

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          • Anonymous says:

            HMCI was tasked by NOAA with getting the SMS out to everyone in Cayman Islands for this emergency test. It was their job to work with our carriers, so yes, I do blame the failure on them. They were the failing task manager in this scenario. Whatever the problem, it was widespread, and probably still exists, ie. needs to be remedied, not by me, but by HMCI. My carrier has no trouble sending all of the other junk texts from Loop, Tony’sToys, JacqueScott, CoxLumber, BuildersReg, TriciasRoses, GinosPizza, ICL, Rundown, ScotiaBank, CreativeTec etc etc. Believe me, that’s not the problem.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow! This is absolutely amazing.
    Congrats to you Mr. Frederick.
    So very impressive.

    Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to keeping us safe and advancing our methods.

    – Who

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    • Anonymous says:

      And don’t forget the USA NOAA for providing the expertise and data to the Cayman Islands. The islands would do well to thank the USA for keeping them advised so they can be safe.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ahh yes. Houdini could be trained by these economic refugees. Many will vanish and be off to the next honey pot with not even a glance backwards. The good ones will stay and build along side us.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So many fantastic things happening in our Civil Service. I’m very proud to be a Civil Servant.

    Thank you Mr Frederick for your Service.

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