Jamaicans are being urged to take mitigation actions to alleviate the effects of a drought.
The call comes from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), which notes that it has become customary to have periods of drought from January to March.
A drought is often the result of severe water shortages due to inadequate rainfall.
"To ensure that the effects are minimal, the ODPEM is encouraging that the conservation, storage and harvesting of water be pursued as mitigation and preparedness measures," the state agency said.
It has advised the public of the following precautions:
Identify leaks in and around the home and repair immediately, being careful to seek professional assistance if necessary.
Conserve water around the home.
A typical shower uses five to 10 gallons of water per minute. Limit your shower to the time it takes to wet your body and to wash off the lather.
When washing dishes, do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have a double sink, fill one side with soapy water and the other with water for rinsing.
Limit the washing of cars and watering of lawns unless absolutely necessary. Using a hose to wash cars, driveways and sidewalks could waste gallons of water. It is best to do this from a pan or basin.
Do not allow your children to play with pipes, hoses and sprinklers.