Jamaicans Urged To Be Prepared For Natural Disasters


Parish Disaster Co-ordinator for St. Elizabeth, Yvonne Morrison, has urged Jamaicans to familiarise themselves with the correct procedures to follow, should a natural disaster occur.
Addressing students at the Malvern Science and Research Centre in St. Elizabeth recently, Mrs. Morrison highlighted some of the steps that one should take in the event of a fire, earthquake or flood.
“In the event of flooding, one should remember that intense rainfall is usually the main cause and that this can destroy homes, furniture and livelihood. If you live in an area that has been flooded in the past, you must prepare,” she said.
“Before the disaster, you must have an emergency plan; know where your emergency shelters are located, untie domestic animals and take them to higher ground. Listen to your radios for emergency information, elevate appliances and furniture, shut off electricity at the fuse panel and evacuate early before escape routes become impassable,” Mrs. Morrison said.
For earthquakes, Mrs. Morrison stressed the importance of having emergency kits at home, work or school, and to practise earthquake drills.”In addition, a survey should be conducted to identify things that could fall and cause injury. During the earthquake, try to remain calm; if you are inside stay there and get under a study desk or table and ensure that your body is covered,” she said.
The Co-ordinator pointed out that once the earth tremors had subsided, there should not be a mad rush to the exit as this could lead to a stampede.
“If you are outside, stay there and avoid hazards that can cause injury. If you are in a vehicle, drive away from bridges and be prepared for aftershocks,” she advised.
The meeting was organised in conjunction with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

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