How Tobago Is Using Solar Power for Natural Disaster Warnings


Above: Tobago (CJ Photo)

By Dana Niland
CJ Contributor

Tobago has just commissioned four new solar powered Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems.

These devices will be used to alert the public of disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

At a commissioning ceremony the agency held in collaboration with the US Embassy last week, Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Director Allan Stewart said these systems “save lives.”

The systems were placed at Tobago’s highest-risk locations such as Fort King George, Store Bay Heritage Park, Feeder Road in Canaan, and Gospel Hall Church Compound in Bon Accord.

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) began talks with the US Embassy regarding the systems in 2013.

The US donated the Early Warning Sirens at a cost of $28,000.

“The more we look out for each other, the safer our world will be,” said US Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires Margaret Diop. “When we have succeeded in mitigating disaster, it’s often because of strong communication networks, and good communication practices.  But when communication breaks down, disasters can become tragedies.”

THA Chief Secretary Orville London said Tobagonians would continue to play a vital role in the success of the system, which “depends on the response of the people of Tobago.”