Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Hanover ready but short of emergency vehicles

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 10:00 AMClaudia Gardener
McIntosh

Mayor of Lucea and chairman of the Hanover Parish Council, Wynter McIntosh, says despite a shortage of emergency vehicles, preparations are well advanced in the parish ahead of the expected arrival of Hurricane Matthew.

Speaking with The Sunday Gleaner following an emergency disaster preparedness committee meeting at the Lucea Town Hall last Friday, McIntosh said Hanover is ready.

"All agencies have indicated to me that they are fully prepared, with one or few limitations. In terms of the health department, they have just one vehicle and they are short of a four-wheel drive vehicle, but they have indicated to me that there is a backup plan in case of any eventualities.

"The fire truck is up but the ambulance (at the Hanover Fire Department) is down, but we are making provisions to have vehicles on standby and provisions are being made by the health department to assist in that regard," added McIntosh.

He said the Hanover Emergency Operations Centre will be activated at 2 p.m. today following another briefing which he will call.

McIntosh said more than 60 emergency shelters are located across the parish and all, except one, are in good order.

He told our news team that he would also be visiting the flood-prone community of Chigwell to do an assessment.

"There is one shelter in Hilloughby that I have some concerns about and I gave instructions that it be made ready between now and (Sunday) afternoon ... I have been in touch with the minister of local government who has indicated to me he is fully on board and will be making some resources available so that we can do some mitigation work," said McIntosh.

"We have just gone through a massive drain-cleaning programme across the parish. I have indicated to the superintendent that immediately after the meeting; I think there is a team out there now assessing the drains the ones that could likely have any impact on citizens," added McIntosh.

The mayor also appealed to residents, particularly those who may have to seek refuge in shelters, to brace themselves for the impact of the hurricane by packing food, medication, and securing at least three days' supply of water.

He urged all residents to ensure they are aware of the closest shelter to them.

Claudia.gardener@gleanerjm.com