JIS News

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has said that its operations are now in full relief mode, with the emergency distribution of relief supplies such as bedding and water, among other critical items.
Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, Kretchet Douglas-Greaves, told JIS News that the relief effort was being conducted across the island through the Parish Disaster Committees.
In the meantime, persons who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Dean are being urged to make a report at the registration centres, which were opened today (Aug. 21) at Seventh Day Adventist churches and Salvation Army offices across the island. “Other locations will be named shortly as we progress in our relief efforts and plans,” she indicated.
Mrs. Douglas-Greaves told JIS News that members of the public can visit these registration centres, which will be manned by personnel from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and file reports of damage to personal property and community structures.
“Persons, who have suffered damage, would state the nature of the damage, would file a detailed report, and subsequent to that report, a team would be dispatched to conduct damage assessments at the identified homes and areas, and depending on the findings of that report, the affected persons would be contacted with the appropriate relief supplies,” she explained.
She noted that there are no time constraints or a definitive timeline for completing the assessment exercise. “As far as the registration centres are concerned, we have no set established timelines for closure. It depends on the number and the magnitude of the cases that we have to deal with. We however expect that within the first week, we would have received almost all reports and we can therefore safely say that within the first week, certainly by Friday (Aug. 21), we should have by and large ‘broken the backs’ of the reports that we expect to come in,” she noted.
She emphasized that the focus of the registration centres are to accommodate as many reports as possible, “and we will have to facilitate the needs of the public not being bound by set time constraints.” With regards to shelters, Mrs. Douglas-Greaves told JIS News that approximately 5, 600 persons are being accommodated in 250 shelters, but the number is expected to decrease as the relief effort progresses.

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