Residents urged to prepare for storms before going on vacation
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has encouraged persons to take the time to ensure that their properties are protected before travelling in the event that a hurricane should affect the island.
Director of Preparedness and Emergency Management at the ODPEM Horace Glaze said that persons should make an assessment and put things in place to prevent any incidents or minimise any such event occurring.
He said that property owners should create and work from a checklist, especially checking if the properties are susceptible to landslides and wind damage.
"If you (live in a) flood-prone (area), you need to put your furniture and other items on raised platforms. If you live in an area where the population is sparse, you may want to let the police know you might be away for an extended period. It's really about assessing your personal circumstances, what your likely risks and vulnerabilities are and addressing them accordingly," he said.
Glaze also encouraged home and businessowners to check for any hazards that could affect the safety of roofs and windows.
"Do a hazard hunt around the home - both externally and internal. You're not at home ... and the (strong) winds might just blow down a tree, which might pull down electric service wires. Plug out all unnecessary electrical (equipment). You're less likely to have a fire at home as a result," he said.
He added that trees should be pruned to prevent structural damage in the event that a tree falls.
On the matter of placing concrete blocks and heavy stones on roofs, Glaze said persons should fix their roofs, using the proper roof screws, as 'roof weights' could pose a serious problem in the event of a hurricane, especially for neighbours.
He further encouraged persons to seek the guidance of their local artisans and carpenters on how to properly strap down roofs as simply placing heavy objects on the roof is not enough.