Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Look to elders for disaster advice - ODPEM head

Published:Wednesday | October 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Acting director general of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson, says the country's senior citizens have a critical role to play in building disaster resilience communities.

He said they possess extensive knowledge and experience that could be called upon in the disaster preparedness and response strategy.

"Older people have a significant role to play in what we do. They have a wealth of experience; we have older people, who have been involved in risk management, and have been involved in climate change and comprehensive development. So it is good to pull on them for knowledge and effort. They do pull a lot of respect in a lot of the communities," he noted.

Thompson was speaking at Monday's opening ceremony for International Day for Disaster Reduction, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.


He noted that older people were also among the vulnerable groups during times of disaster, requiring that special efforts be put in place to ensure they remain safe.

He said policies, plans and programmes focusing on the older population would continually be put in place to ensure members of this group are protected.