JIS News

Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for Westmoreland, Hilma Tate, says preparations in the parish for the upcoming hurricane season are in high gear.

Speaking to JIS News, she noted that principals of schools used as shelters have been contacted by the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation to make the necessary arrangements to get the facilities ready.

“Shelter inspection has begun, and the updating of some of the plans, such as the plans for the homeless, we have started working on that as well,” she added.

She noted that the Disaster Committee is collaborating with entities such as the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Public Health Department in the parish, to ensure that the shelters are up to standard.

Ms. Tate told JIS News that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the municipality will be setting up isolation rooms at each shelter.

“We know that with COVID-19 upon us, we have to ensure that at least one room is identified in each shelter, so in case someone has symptoms of the virus, at least they can be isolated. So that is one of the things that we are adding to preparations,” she noted.

“Some schools have already identified the areas that will be used as isolation rooms and these will be areas where persons will have access to separate bathroom facilities from other persons in the shelter,” she added.

Ms. Tate said that the municipality will be conducting drain-cleaning activities in preparation for the season in order to mitigate flooding.

The hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs until November 30.

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