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ODPEM to Stage More Earthquake Drills

By: , November 17, 2023
ODPEM to Stage More Earthquake Drills
Photo: Dave Reid
Acting Deputy Director General, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Michelle Edwards

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The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be conducting more regular earthquake drills as part of its national strategic response.

The simulation exercises will assist persons to be better prepared and help to ease anxiety about earthquakes among the public, Acting Deputy Director General at ODPEM, Michelle Edwards, told JIS News.

“Once we can have them and we can do these drills as often as we can, it will alleviate some of the fear and panic that occurs when there’s an earthquake,” she noted.

“We can’t get away from the fact that people will panic but the more we practise our drills it will become easier,” she added.

ODPEM assists schools, businesses and organisations in conducting earthquake drills and led a large-scale simulation exercise in 2020, which engaged the entire New Kingston business district.

“We tested every business entity’s plans, procedures, evacuation procedures, etc. Another one is due,” Ms. Edwards told JIS News.

She is appealing to entities and households to conduct earthquake drills as part of their emergency response plan.

“For all persons, businesses, households, individuals, it is important for you to know exactly what to do when an earthquake occurs. That information you can get… from the ODPEM, our library or website,” Ms. Edwards said.

She noted that drills will help to reduce the chances of chaos during an event.

“Drills are very important. Know your exits, where your keys are kept for your [house] grill. These are simple things but important when we are in a panic situation. It’s important to keep your keys at the same place and keep it there all the time so that when you need to run and grab, you know exactly what you’re doing,” she advised.

“For families and organisations, have your plans. Know who will pick up your children after school. We saw the kind of chaos that it can cause when everyone is on the road trying to do pick-up and check on loved ones. Those things can be more smoothly executed if you have a plan,” Ms. Edwards noted further.


Last Updated: November 17, 2023

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