On August 17th, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), in conjunction with UTS-TDC Training Center and University of St. Martin (USM), will hold its third Hurricane & Disaster Preparedness Seminar at USM. Various experts will share their insights and experience on bringing your business successfully through a natural disaster. Though the event is geared towards businesses, everyone is welcome to attend if preregistered due to limited capacity.

As the peak hurricane season is upon us, preparations can never be enough, according to the organizing parties. Section Head of Disaster Management of the Ministry of General Affairs Paul Martens: “For the first time in years, we broadened the scope of the Seminar. Hurricanes evoke a large scope of secondary disasters like flooding. While businesses often prepare well for the first storm, they sometimes overlook the effects of the secondary factors. Next to that, general preparations often provide solutions for other threats like fires and earthquakes, too”.

SHTA holds its hurricane preparedness training for businesses once every two years, in close coordination with the Ministry of General affairs.

After a kick-off on behalf of Government by Martens, there will be a panel discussion in which Certified Business Emergency Recovery Training (BERT) trainer David McGregor of TDC will ask seasoned Sint Maarten professionals about their past experiences, and what best practices they provide for the future.

Mr. Danny Ramchandani led Ram’s convenience store when Hurricane Luis wreaked havoc and will share lessons from those experiences. Mr. Joseph Isaac will provide insights about government communications stemming from its meteorological department. From an insurance company standpoint, Marc Groeneveld shares what can be insured for damage caused by nature and how to best navigate the claims process. Robert Judd (USM) will share his views on preparing an education institution encompassing both students and staff for impending natural challenges. Divi Hotel’s Thijs Schepers will share what hurricanes mean for ocean front resorts.

After the panel discussion, the audience is invited to discuss and to ask questions to the panel. As organizers acknowledge that no preparation suffices for nature’s unpredictable wrath, an outlook of a two-day follow-up, in-company Business Emergency Response Training (BERT) will be provided.

University doors will open at 8:30 for an early bird cup of coffee. SHTA members are offered free entrance, whereas all interested non-members are welcome for a $25 registration fee. As seating is limited for the August 17th event, please be sure to register in advance with SHTA at office@shta.com or +1721 542 0108.

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