JIS News

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  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be undertaking a special hurricane preparedness public education campaign this year.
  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, said the campaign, to begin before the start of the 2015 hurricane season, “will sensitise citizens on critical matters pertaining to their preparedness and response.”
  • New Disaster Risk Management Groups have been established in 11 vulnerable communities across Jamaica, with training exercises carried out to strengthen their resilience profile.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be undertaking a special hurricane preparedness public education campaign this year.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, said the campaign, to begin before the start of the 2015 hurricane season, “will sensitise citizens on critical matters pertaining to their preparedness and response.”

Minister Arscott was making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate on Wednesday, April 22, in the House of Representatives.

Turning to other measures to boost disaster preparedness and response, he informed that new Disaster Risk Management Groups have been established in 11 vulnerable communities across Jamaica, with training exercises carried out to strengthen their resilience profile.

Other disaster mitigation activities include: expansion and training of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs); implementation of community micro-mitigation projects; mapping of hazard-prone areas; and development of communitybased disaster management and mitigation plans.

“Early warning infrastructure, inclusive of surveillance cameras, was established in the Bog Walk Gorge, and systems were installed in Portmore for monitoring and early warning, especially in relation to the disabled community,” Minister Arscott said.

He also informed that a national emergency telecommunications and public safety network, along with a national search and rescue plan, is being developed.

In the meantime, the Minister informed the House that the National Safe Schools Initiative for schools and childcare facilities, and the National Simulation Training Exercise Programme (STEP) are to be launched at the end of this calendar year.

“These are critical …safety standards (for) national preparedness,” he noted.