Today, Gosport MP, Dame Caroline Dinenage, asked in Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Oral Parliamentary Questions, what preparation the Department has made to support the British Overseas Territories in advance of this years hurricane season.
"It is vital that we don’t lose the really painful lessons that we learnt in the wake of Hurricane Irma in 2017, and a key component of that will always be a naval presence in the region ahead of hurricane season. So can the Minister please assure me that those preparations are already being made?”
Responding, Amanda Milling, Minister for Asia and the Middle East at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said:
“I thank my Right Honourable Friend for her question. The Department has coordinated cross-Government hurricane exercise earlier this month as part of this review of plans to ensure the UK provides a rapid and effective response this year. In May, officials also hosted a pre-hurricane season conference.
I have to say that having visited Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, I totally understand the importance of hurricane preparedness and I would like to reassure my Right Honourable Friend that I also met with the Minister for Armed Forces last week to discuss how our Departments can work together with an effective and appropriate response in the event of a major disaster.”
Responding after the debate Caroline said,
“It’s so important that we don’t repeat past mistakes. So, while there has been positive action since 2017 to ensure our Overseas Territories are better placed to respond, we know that hurricane season can bring devastation. That’s why it’s important our Royal Navy stands ready to assist.”