More Storms: Rinse and Repeat – Encore

I have friends …

… that live in North America and Europe. They always ask about visiting the many beautiful islands of the Caribbean. I strongly urge them to come on down and “be our guest“; to consume our hospitality, enjoy our culture, food, spirits, cigars, festivals, fishing, resorts and cruises.

But, I caution them: Do not come between August 15 and September 15; this is the peak of our mean season! This is when we Rinse and Repeat.

This has often been the case over the years – see Table 1 below – and this is true this year as well. The Bahamas just endured Category 5 Hurricane Dorian and now … there are other storms on the radar screen, in the vicinity. See photo here:

Rinse and Repeat is more than just a shampoo instruction, it is what we endure in the Caribbean region every year during Hurricane Season. Lastly, it is also the title of a previous blog-commentary from August 30, 2017.

Table 1 – Highest Number of named storm occurrences by month
Storms Season
January 1 1938195119782016
February 1 1952
March 1 1908
April 1 199220032017
May 2 18872012
June 3 188619361968
July 5 2005
August 8 20042012
September 8 20022010
October 8 1950
November 3 2005
December 2 18872003
Based on data from: U.S. NOAA Coastal Service Center – Historical Hurricane Tracks Tool
† – Highest number for month by virtue of being only known season to see a storm form

Again, imagine 8 named storms in the same month; that is truly Rinse and Repeat. This is our reality. It is only apropos to Encore that previous blog-commentary here-now:


Go Lean Commentary – Disaster Preparation: ‘Rinse and Repeat’

The reality of Caribbean life: we must contend with natural disasters, not of our making, “again and again”. The situation can be described as “Rinse and Repeat“.

Climate Change is not of our making, but it is our problem. Truth be told, it is not just our problem alone; the whole planet is affected. Right now this moment, the Greater Metropolitan area of Houston, Texas USA is suffering “pangs of distress”; see the VIDEO in the Appendix below. CU Blog - Disaster Preparation - Rinse and Repeat - Photo 1

It is what it is!

Some communities have done a better job than others in preparing for the unavoidable:

“Some communities”? “Better job“? That is not us … in the Caribbean!

As related in a previous Go Lean commentary, our Caribbean region has failed … in our managing this Agent-of-Change:

… we do not have the luxury of “sticking our head in the sand” and pretending that these problems will simply go away. The region has been devastated with this dysfunction and mis-management. Some 70% of Caribbean college-educated citizens have already fled their homelands in an undisputed brain drain. It’s time now to manage change differently than the Caribbean has done as of late. It’s time now to “Go Lean”.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives for us to do a better job:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs. This includes an efficient Emergency Management apparatus to ensure business continuity.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies. We can “move” member-state governments simply through funding, rankings and ratings.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society, for better preparation for natural disasters. Consider the Chapter excerpts and headlines here from this sample on Page 184 entitled:

10 Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters


Emergence of the Caribbean Union
Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market & Economy initiative as the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. This allows for the unification of the 30 member-states into one market, thereby spreading the risk and premium base across a market of 42 million people. The Caribbean member-states have Hurricane Katrina styled disasters (relatively speaking) every year.


Caribbean Emergency Management Agency – Federal Disaster Declarations
Modeled after FEMA in the US, this agency will be charged with the preparation, response and reconstruction for the regions for the eventual manifestations of hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and other declared disasters, natural and man-made like medical epidemic, drought, pollution, oil spills, terrorism, etc.


Support Services for First Responders
Training, licensing and standards for Emergency Managers, Paramedics, Firefighters, Search and Rescue resources. For major disasters, some of these resources will come from international origins; they will need the support services (language translation, guides, maps, etc.) and coordination to maximize their results.


Animal Partner Training and Development
Maintain plantations for the training, development and boarding of “search & rescue” dogs, cadavers dogs and other service animals (horses, mules, pigs, etc.) so that there will be local resources within the region. (We cannot always depend on international responses in light of other regions experiencing their own disasters). These animals need not be owned by any one member-state, they can be on loan from CU resources.


Siren Warnings & Notifications
The CU will install tornado-style alarms/sirens in all major municipalities. In addition, the CU will implement tsunami warning messaging (emails/text) in coastal areas & seismic meters throughout the region in the affected “fault-line” areas.


Airlift & Sealift Authorizations
The CU Emergency Management Agency can license, regulate and authorize (air & sea) vessels and vehicles for emergency deployment in a disaster zone, before during and after the disastrous event.


JUA-style Insurance Fund
The fiduciary management of premiums and claims to allow the immediate response for reconstruction after disasters. These financial services, sidecars traded in markets can be direct or indirect as in reinsurance or insurer-of-last-resort.


Economic Crime Enforcement During and After Disasters
The CU will police, investigate and prosecute price gouging, insurance red lining and other economic crimes of both the “white collar” and “blue collar” variety. Once a CU-member-state declares a Disaster Emergency, new rules (quasi-Marshall Law) goes into effect. The CU will review and prosecute the actions of civilians and institutions alike.


Disaster Declaration Loans
Once there’s a Federal Disaster Declaration, the CU will make funds available for low-interest loans for communities to fund reconstructions. With tourism as a major “cash crop” the goal will be to restore the locality as a tourist destination as soon as possible, as even the perception of prolonged disaster damage can affect future bookings and travel plans.


Building Codes and Standards
Through peer review, the CU will regionalize the standards of building codes to assuage the threat of hurricanes and earthquakes, ensuring a higher survivability rate in the Caribbean islands. Due to economic pressures, when buildings and homes cannot be retrofitted, they will be rated for evacuation during hurricane warnings, or earthquake after-shocks.

The Caribbean must foster a better disaster preparation and response apparatus. We must do it now! Lives are at stake.

Just look at our American neighbors – they are suffering right now in the Greater Metropolitan area of Houston, Texas.

CU Blog - Hurricane Flooding - Who Knew - Photo 1b

While Climate Change is the underlying Agent-of-Change, it is outside of our control. This does not imply that there is no remediation for Climate Change; there is. In fact …

Fix ‘Climate Change’ – Yes, We Can

CU Blog - Disaster Preparation - Rinse and Repeat - Photo 2

We do not have the resources (time, talent and treasuries) to fix Climate Change for the planet ourselves, but we can fix it in our Caribbean region. This is a “Lesson in History” that our community has learned … from back in 1863:

There is an important lesson to learn in considering the history of the American Civil War. The war was fought over the issue of slavery. This was an ugly institution for those condemned as slaves. In the United States, that ugly disposition extended beyond the slaves themselves to the entire Black race. Though individuals could be set free, laws in the country could push them back into slavery without any due process. This was the case with the “Fugitive Slave Act of 1850″. Any Black person could be detained as a runaway slave and returned to any alleged Slave Master in the South; no matter any proof or the truth, or lack there-of. In many jurisdictions, a Black man could not even testify against white people. (This was the basis for the autobiographical book – by Solomon Northup – and movie “12 Years A Slave”).

To be Black in the America of those days, one “could not win, could not break-even and could not get out of the game”. There was no neutral destination in America. The optimal option was the only option, to work towards the end of slavery.

For this reason many Blacks joined the war effort, at great sacrifice to themselves and their community. This was a matter of principle! There is an important lesson for the Caribbean from this history[1] :

    The 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment that saw extensive service in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was one of the first official African-American units in the United States during the Civil War.

CU Blog - A Lesson in History - During the Civil War - Principle not Principal - Photo 1

Remediating and mitigating Climate Change will be a battle. We need our own “Voluntary Infantry“ in this fight.

“We have a dog in this fight” – English language slang.

In the Caribbean, we must confederate and implement the institutions to work to remediate and mitigate Climate Change. We must “join in this fight”; we must Go Green and we must Go Blue. We have to be prepared for natural disasters – they will come … assuredly every season, some Caribbean destination will be impacted. We must be prepared to:

Rinse and Repeat.

If we are ready, to quickly respond, offer relief and rebuild – so as to guarantee the business continuity – we would then do a better job in our quest to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – Historic flooding inundates Texas, hampering rescue efforts –

PBS NewsHour
Published on Aug 27, 2017 – Houston’s mayor on Sunday urged his constituents in the nation’s fourth-largest city to stay off roadways as the state of Texas continues to contend with unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey, now classified as a tropical storm. Officials said rising waters would reach catastrophic proportions, with more than 2,500 emergency calls made overnight in Houston alone. Hari Sreenivasan has more.

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