We have preparedness and response plans at all our sites to protect local communities, the environment and our business in the event of emergencies. In Cuba, we work with state agencies to coordinate response planning.
Cuba is geographically situated in a region where hurricanes can have devastating impacts. Studies indicate that more than two million of the country’s 11 million people are vulnerable to disasters. Cuba has internationally recognized expertise in disaster management – from preparation to response to recovery.
Cuba’s National Civil Defense, the institution responsible for disaster-relief planning, has effectively implemented a preparedness system for disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, floods, storm surges and other possible events. This system includes an early warning mechanism to alert citizens to adopt appropriate behaviours such as staying alert, preparing for evacuation and other important measures essential to preserving lives.
The success of Cuba’s disaster preparation and mitigation efforts is confirmed by results. While material losses have been high in the past, the number of casualties has been minimal. This was underscored during 2016’s Category 4 Hurricane Matthew, for which the response by the Cuban Civil Defense in the prevention of loss of life was commended by then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The effective response was demonstrated again in 2017 during Hurricane Irma.
The Cuban system of preparation and evacuation is based on a few fundamental principles, namely:
These factors have helped ensure that our mining and energy businesses in Cuba operate in an environment where emergency response capacity is well developed and well integrated into the risks facing the most vulnerable members of the community across the island.