Pet-friendly hurricane shelters
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaica's geographical location makes the island not only prone to hurricanes, but also earthquakes. We must come to grips with this reality, a truth in which the State will be called upon to provide more shelters as the intensity of hurricanes - caused by global warming and climate change - increases.
Our ever-expanding collection of unplanned settlements, mainly triggered by the inability to afford a home, clearly puts the citizenry at particular risk. The time has come for the society to invest in constructing shelters in each parish instead of using schools, which often leaves these educational institutions in a state of despair after the evacuees leave for home.
Additionally, the State also needs to ensure that some of the public shelters are pet-friendly. In many instances, people are forced to leave their pets at home not knowing how long they will be holed up in a shelter or who will care for their pets during their absence.
Last, but not least, we need to have a mandatory evacuation policy for those individuals who live in flood-prone areas, as well as those who are homeless. Oftentimes, the homeless are not given any consideration in natural disasters. This is rather inhumane and troubling, and we need to make right this wrong.