ODPEM Stages Earthquake Open Day for Schools in Port Royal Tomorrow

Story Highlights

  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will, on Wednesday (January 20), host an Earthquake Awareness Open Day in Port Royal for primary and secondary schools in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
  • Acting Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, Cheryl Nichols, in an interview with JIS News, said the agency will be collaborating with a number of key agencies, such as the Earthquake Unit and the Jamaica Fire Brigade, to provide information to the students and facilitate questions.
  • On January 14, observed as Earthquake Awareness Day for businesses, entities were encouraged to host mini-displays, discussions and post bulletins about earthquakes to remind staff of the region’s vulnerability to the disaster.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will, on Wednesday (January 20), host an Earthquake Awareness Open Day in Port Royal for primary and secondary schools in the Kingston Metropolitan Area.

The event forms part of the organisation’s activities in recognition of January as Earthquake Awareness Month under the theme: Earthquake Safety – Don’t be Scared, Be Prepared.

Acting Director of Information and Training at ODPEM, Cheryl Nichols, in an interview with JIS News, said the agency will be collaborating with a number of key agencies, such as the Earthquake Unit and the Jamaica Fire Brigade, to provide information to the students and facilitate questions.

She said the children will have the opportunity to tour sections of Port Royal, which was devastated by earthquake in 1692, as well as have dialogue with the stakeholders on their role and services in the event of an earthquake.

Ms. Nichols said the open day is in line with ODPEM’s drive to strengthen civilian resilience by targeting various groups.

“Each audience has its own uniqueness, we want to ensure that no group is left unattended to,” she said.

January 13 was designated Earthquake Awareness Day for Schools. Educational institutions across the island were asked to execute activities that allow students to focus on earthquake preparedness, such as drills, movies, sensitisation talks and displays, which were supported with material by ODPEM.

On January 14, observed as Earthquake Awareness Day for businesses, entities were encouraged to host mini-displays, discussions and post bulletins about earthquakes to remind staff of the region’s vulnerability to the disaster.

“We believe that the more we bring these kinds of information to the public, the more likely it is that it’s going to be received and it goes a far way in facilitating some of our activities,” Ms. Nichols said.

“Our vision at ODPEM is to build a disaster-resilient nation. By having these campaigns, we engage the public, we present information, we create opportunities for them to have their questions answered and one step at a time, we are able to reach various target audience and various vulnerable groups,” she noted further.

Meanwhile, ODPEM will host a Seismic Risk Forum for Youth in February, which is targeted at tertiary-level students, who have done research on Jamaica’s seismic vulnerability.

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