Fri | Oct 30, 2020

Shelter management training incorporates COVID planning in St Bess

Published:Sunday | July 12, 2020 | 12:00 AMJIS
Chairman of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Black River, Councillor Derrick Sangster, addresses a shelter management forum held at the St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, on Friday (JIS photo).

Shelter managers in St Elizabeth have undergone training, which incorporates risk planning for COVID-19, in preparation for the 2020 hurricane season and other disasters.

The training, in the form of a forum, was held at the St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, on Friday, where new shelter management guidelines were outlined for an active hurricane season. It was organised by the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation in partnership with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the St Elizabeth Health Department.

Forecasters are predicting the possible formation of 13 to 19 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major cyclones.

Speaking at the event, chairman of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation and mayor of Black River, Councillor Derrick Sangster, emphasised the important work of shelter managers amid a pandemic.

“Your duty has become even more critical and your duty, to some extent, will take on a little bit more importance, in that you have to be so much more careful now of yourself and persons that are going to be in your charge, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is upon us,” he explained.

“We appreciate that you are volunteering in this critical time. I know that you will do your best in the case of an emergency or disaster, and you will carry out your duty efficiently and to the best of your capability,” he added.

Sangster indicated that the municipality and other stakeholders, including the St Elizabeth Health Department, will give their full support to equip shelters with the necessary resources.

St Elizabeth currently has approximately 200 managers to serve 94 official shelters.

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