JIS News

Relief and emergency supplies are being provided for the thousands of persons who have been displaced from their homes as result of Hurricane Ivan, which swept the island over the weekend.
Nadene Newsome, Director of Information and Training at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), told JIS News yesterday (Sept. 15), that food supplies were being distributed to severely affected communities including those that were isolated as a result of the hurricane.
She informed that the communities of Aenon Town in St. Ann and West Phalia in St. Andrew, which were cut off, have so far received food by air and will benefit from further supplies today.
Miss Newsome said that other severely affected communities scheduled for deliveries include St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann; Penlyne Castle, Westphalia, Somerset and Hagley Gap in St. Andrew; Morant Bay in St. Thomas and Flamstead in St. James.
Giving an update on the shelter situation, she informed that the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the ODPEM team were distributing food and water to shelters and others areas in need, with teams from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) distributing basic food and emergency packages island wide. There are 18,495 persons in 358 shelters across the island. Miss Newsome said the ODPEM was encouraging persons in shelters, especially those in schools, to return to their homes or other safe accommodation to facilitate the re-opening of the institutions.
She noted that persons who returned home would be monitored and their needs attended to, while stressing that all efforts were being made to restore normalcy as soon as possible.
Miss Newsome mentioned that the relief supplies were being provided by the ODPEM and the multi-agency group comprising the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency, the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), and the MLSS team, which is also carrying out house to house visits to assess the level of damage. Assistance has also been received from the business community as well as international aid agencies.
As it relates to disaster management, she expressed confidence in the various systems established by the organization to address the various situations left in the wake of the hurricane. She reported that each parish had an initial sum of $250,000, which could be used to provide food and water for persons.
Persons needing assistance are advised to contact the National Emergency Operation Centre at ODPEM at 928-5111-4, the MLSS office in their parish, or the Parish Disaster Coordinators located within the various Parish Council offices.

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