Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI), Mr. McCleary Frederick, made history at the 31st Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Palm Beach, Florida as the first international recipient of the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr. Frederick proudly accepted the most prestigious award of the conference today (Thursday, 18 May 2017).
He 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, Mr. Frederick has pioneered disaster management for the Cayman Islands by establishing a full-time disaster management office and implementing 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, Hon. Franz Manderson, said. “Mr. Frederick is a strong advocate for disaster preparedness and has greatly improved overall readiness for the country.”
“Mr. Frederick’s determination and commitment have made these Islands safer and more resilient, and he is entirely deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award,” Mr. Manderson added. “I congratulate and commend Mr. Frederick for his outstanding work as HMCI Director and for providing 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, Mr. Frederick’s significant achievements include helping 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.
Mr. 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.
Mr. Frederick enhanced 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 made it a priority to produce a Cayman Islands National Oil Spill Contingency Plan that can resolutely respond to marine oil spills to minimize the threat to marine life, fisheries, ecologically sensitive areas, recreational beaches and human health. The plan has been drafted and is now in the final editing stage.
Under Mr. Frederick’s leadership, 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, Mr. 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 Mr. Frederick established an Urban Search and Rescue Team for the Cayman Islands where 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. Mr. Frederick has also established a regular training programme for all first response agencies in the Cayman Islands.
He 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.
The HMCI Director also established Hazard Risk Management Education programmes that have been mainstreamed in schools across the Cayman Islands. In 2016 a Youth Hazard Awareness Activity Book was produced and thousands printed which were 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 Mr. 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.