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Stabroek News



Paloma sends Western Jamaica into high gear
published: Saturday | November 8, 2008

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland reported full preparedness for any eventualities as a result of Hurricane Paloma, which is now in the Caribbean.

At press time, Hurricane Paloma, the 16th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was moving towards Grand Cayman, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

As such, a hurricane warning was in effect for the Cayman Islands.

keeping close eye

While the hurricane is not a direct threat to Jamaica, the country has had to keep a close eye on it as yesterday it was 220 miles west of Montego Bay, St James.

Amanda Thompson, parish disaster coordinator for St James, expressed confidence at the level of preparation in the parish in the event of any occurrences of flooding caused by the weather system.

"We have 15 priority shelters in St James and we are keeping abreast of information provided by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management on whether or not to issue an alert to our shelter managers," she told The Gleaner.

According to Dion Hylton-Lewis, parish disaster coordinator for Trelawny, all response agencies had been placed on high alert.

She added that with the adequate shelter supplies in storage, the parish was confident about its preparation.

Meanwhile, Hanover and Westmoreland were also expressing confidence in the level of preparation.

At press time, there was no information out of the parish of St Elizabeth as to its preparedness.

The St James Parish Council launched Jamaica's first Disaster Information Database System (DIDS)

DIDS was created to improve the management of shelters and resources during a disaster in the parish.

This system provides a list of emergency shelters, contact lists, hazard information and standard forms.

The lists may be accessed through the St James Parish Council website at www.stjamespc.org/content/home

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