(CMR) The Cayman Islands Government launched a National Emergency Notification System (NENS) mobile app on Monday, 7 March. The NENS app will allow direct communication with all subscribed users in the Cayman Islands in the event of a national emergency or disaster.
Developed by Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) in collaboration with key local and regional stakeholders, NENS is a free mobile application that delivers emergency alerts directly to subscribers by email or SMS text. Residents and visitors can download the free app on their phones by going to nens.gov.ky.
Premier and Minister for Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Hon. G. Wayne Panton said building a national culture of disaster preparedness and resiliency is a collective responsibility and encouraged all Cayman Islands residents to subscribe to the mobile alert app.
“In a national emergency or disaster, safeguarding human life is of paramount importance. We all have a role to play in following the official guidance from HMCI to prepare for emergencies but we can’t always predict when a disaster or emergency will happen. That’s why it’s important to download the new mobile app so you can stay informed and know what action to take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the event of a national incident,” Panton said.
HMCI Director Danielle Coleman said the department is continually working to increase the number of ways that emergency messages are delivered to the public.
“Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and without warning. HMCI has a number of methods by which we communicate with the public in emergencies, including by sending information to local media, posting to our website and social media sites, and the radio alert system established in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety Communications,” she said.
“The new NENS app is yet another method for us to deliver important public safety messaging to keep our community safe in a national emergency or disaster,” she added.
The emergency alert will include details of the incident including what kind of incident it is, where it is primarily located (if applicable), and when it occurred. The message will also include any essential public safety messaging such as instructions to stay away from the area or to seek higher ground.
Simulated tsunami exercise to be NENS first test case
Registered subscribers to the NENS mobile app will experience the first test of the system on Thursday, 10 March, as part of CARIBE WAVE, a regional exercise to develop and improve emergency responses to a simulated tsunami event.
The Cayman Islands is one of several Caribbean countries taking part in the 2022 exercise, which is coordinated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Coleman said the Cayman Islands will use the tsunami exercise to test and improve the national tsunami warning system.
“Regular exercising of response plans is critical to maintain readiness for an emergency. The simulated tsunami scenario will provide an opportunity for HMCI to exercise our operational lines of communications which includes the National Emergency Notification System, review our tsunami response procedures, and promote tsunami preparedness,” she said.
Subscribers to the NENS mobile app will receive a test notification to their mobile device as part of the exercise.
How to get the app
-Visit nens.gov.ky to opt-in to the service; Choose ‘app’ and provide your email to sign up.
-Download the AtHoc app, entering the email address you used to opt into the service to verify and activate your account.
-AtHoc app will ask you for an organization code. Your organization code is HMCI. Press ‘send’.
-The screen will indicate you are now set up to receive notifications.