Cyclones and other natural disasters
Vanuatu is a country prone to natural events. PVIS has plans and procedures that will be enacted in the instance of a significant event.
Cyclones occur on an irregular basis in Vanuatu during the months of November to May. If the NDMO (National Disaster Management Office) through the Vanuatu Meteorology and Natural Hazards Department advise of a Red Alert for Efate in the 5 or 6 am bulletin, the school will not open. In the case of an Orange Alert, the school will operate but request that parents monitor the situation closely. If the children are at school and a Red Alert is received, parents will be contacted and the children sent home. This decision will be made after consultation between the Principal, key staff and local authorities. Following a significant event and/or closure, parents will be advised via email and our Facebook Page of the time for reopening. The school may choose to close as a precaution even if the warning level is low.
In the case of a Tsunami evacuation, parents will be requested to collect children from USP (University of the South Pacific). The school may make its own decision to evacuate before an official announcement, and we carefully track all available national and international data sources. The principle of “If the earthquake is long and strong, the get gone” will inform our actions. Please bear in mind that in an emergency we may not be able to communicate with you, and you should be aware that USP is our default evacuation destination. Of course, a different destination for evacuation may need to be selected if the circumstances dictated.
For the school to manage an emergency it is critical that we have accurate parent and emergency contact details. Please ensure that you update the school the moment any of these details change – please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
The school conducts on campus drills to ensure that students are aware of the protocols in differing emergencies. This includes the following protocols for an earthquake:
- Drop, Cover and Hold.
- Stay where you are until the shaking stops.
- If inside, stay inside; if outside stay outside.
- Do not attempt to run outside.
This should also be taught and reinforced at home (more details and useful videos here: https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/get-ready/get-tsunami-ready).
Staff are provided with regular first aid training.
Some key websites for your reference
Vanuatu Meterology and Geohazards Department (VMGD) (local advisories, warnings, forecast etc)
VMGD Daily weather observations (recorded rainfall etc & forecasts)
VMGD Cyclone Tracking Map (print and keep handy for when cyclones are nearby)
Get Tsunami Ready (NZ) – excellent resources and videos for home preparation
US Tsunami Warning System (up to the minute tracking and warning)
Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre
Earthquakes @GA (Australian earthquake monitoring)
Australian Bureau of Meteorology satellite weather (updated regularly and covers Vanuatu)