ODPEM Cautions Public on Dry Conditions


In a release issued Monday (August 10), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has offered the following precautions:
As dry conditions worsen across the island, the ODPEM is strongly urging all Jamaicans to conserve on their use of water. The Meteorological Service has advised that the worst affected parishes so far are Westmoreland and St. Mary.
The public is being reminded to pay attention to efforts focused on water conservation and look for ways to use less and reuse whenever possible:Look around for leaks and repair them immediately. Most leaks are easy to detect and easy to repair.Use just a glassful of water to brush your teeth.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. If you wash dishes by hand do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and the other with water for rinsing.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, if absolutely necessary. Remember that during dry periods and water restrictions washing of cars and watering of lawns should not take place. When you wash your car with a bucket of water and a rag it not only saves you money, but it ensures that there will be more water when you need it most.Do not allow your children to play with pipes, hoses and sprinklers. This activity could waste hundreds of gallons of precious water.At all costs avoid using matches while in and carelessly starting fires in dry areas. If you absolutely must burn, construct a firebreak by clearing an area around the proposed area to be burnt.Smokers, ensure that cigarette butts, matches and other lighted materials are extinguished before disposal.
The public is also advised to be on the alert to prevent bush and domestic fires. Bush fires often result from the careless management of fires in dry areas. Do not:Burn light fires outdoors, as sparks may blow about and cause the fire to spread. Start fires to clear land especially during this period.Never light a fire in an open area when it is windy.If you absolutely must burn, construct a firebreak by clearing an area around the proposed area to be burnt.
The ODPEM will continue to monitor the situation and advise the public of its status as it progresses.

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