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Crisis communication

Recently, the University of Twente joined forces with the University of Curacao and Saxion University of Applied sciences to do research with regard to the effectiveness and quality of the communications and alert systems in the Dutch Caribbean.

The research, which was commissioned by the Dutch Scientific Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), was completed just before hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean. The main conclusion of the investigation was that the communication systems on the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba are functioning reasonably well, but that it is not possible to guarantee proper communications in all areas and under all possible circumstances. Disasters and other crises might give rise to issues within the operational communication and information exchange.

Researchers from the University of Curacao visited all locations within the Dutch Caribbean, where they interviewed a wide range of stakeholders and investigated the current state of affairs. The research focused on the effectiveness and the quality of all available means of communication, such as emergency numbers, mobile phones, land lines, walkie-talkies, two-way radios, marine radios, satellite resources, television, radio, and social media. The concepts of effectiveness and quality were further operationalized in terms of coverage, range, accessibility, reliability, availability, back-up facilities, and capacity.

For the full report in Dutch, and an executive summary in English, click here.