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JIS News

The message of disaster preparedness and more specifically hurricane preparedness, was underscored in Montego Bay on the weekend when the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and corporate sponsor Digicel Jamaica, held a hurricane expo on the grounds of the old hospital site in that city.
The expo was geared at reaching residents in the western parishes with the hurricane preparedness message, and was described as quite timely by persons who attended, as it took place while the island was experiencing inclement weather from a tropical depression. The event is the second of three scheduled to be held by the ODPEM in collaboration with Digicel, with the first held in Old Harbour Bay recently, and the third to be held in Morant Bay in another week.
“Certainly three road shows are not enough but as you can well appreciate the limited resources will mean that we have to make some strategic decisions, where is it that we can go to get the widest mix of parishes, so what we have done is look at a regional spread,” Training Manager at ODPEM, Cheryl Nichols told JIS News.
“As a result what we have are these various legs of road shows, where we have targeted strategic locations across the island. Among some of our partner agencies are the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the National Meteorological Service, the Water Resource Authority, and quite a few others,” she pointed out.
Miss Nichols explained further that the road shows are just one of the many methods that the ODPEM uses to reach the general public with the message of disaster preparedness. She added that since Hurricanes Gilbert and Ivan there has been a heightened awareness about disaster preparedness.
Meanwhile Marketing Project Manager for Digicel Jamaica, Paula Pinnock-Macleod, said that her company sees the partnership as part of its corporate social responsibility. She described the public response to the road shows as very good, adding that it reinforces the fact that hurricane preparedness is an issue that needs to be addressed.