St Elizabeth commences preparations for hurricane season
(JIS): Parish coordinator for disaster preparedness at the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Ornella Lewis, says preparations have started for the 2020 hurricane season, which begins on June 1 and runs until November 30.
“Our parish disaster committee has been activated since March 13. We have been looking through our shelter list and some of the challenges that we have been facing, in order to see if some of them can be addressed at this time,” she said.
Lewis noted that the parish has more than 90 emergency shelters, which are being inspected to ensure that they are safe for occupation.
“Prior to the hurricane season, our joint emergency shelter inspection through our humanitarian subcommittee is done. Also, the signage of our shelters is done. We want to ensure that our storage is up to standard [and] shelter managers are equipped with the necessary devices,” she said.
Lewis noted that the committee has taken the COVID-19 outbreak into consideration and the impact it will have on disaster preparedness and management.
Chief executive officer of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Errol Lebert, for his part, agreed that the approach to disaster risk management will be different this year, given the pandemic.
“The approach has to be totally different. We may have to increase the number of shelters or fund other strategic approaches,” he noted.
“Nonetheless, we have been proactive based on the experiences we would have had over the years. So the relevant action necessary to implement has been put in place and the groundwork has been done,” Lebert added.
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