ODPEM Implements Disaster Management Project in St. James


The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is implementing a disaster management project in the parish of St. James, designed to improve the ability of residents in flood prone communities to respond to disasters so as to minimise loss of life and property.
The project, funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), involves the establishment of community-based flood alert systems in five Montego Bay communities that have proven over the years, to be highly vulnerable to flooding. These are Canterbury, Rosemount Gardens, South Gully, Railway Lane and Cornwall Court.
Over the last few weeks, the ODPEM has held several meetings with business interests in Montego Bay and residents of Canterbury, to sensitise them about the project, which includes the drafting of a multi-purpose plan to address emergency situations that may arise.
According to Nadine Newsome, Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, the meetings were well received. “The response was excellent, we have a number of requests to come back to some specific organisations to talk to staff, to help them to go further in the development of their disaster plans,” she informed.
In addition, she said, in Canterbury, where flood warning systems were installed, “we sensitised them as to how the flood warning system will work, and how they should respond to it, and to tell them about the follow-up meetings that we plan to have with persons from that community”.
She stated that intervention and sensitising meetings would continue until the end of this year, with all the communities identified under the project.

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