- He said the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the parish councils will be provided with the necessary supplies for distribution if required.
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Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says disaster committees have been activated in preparation for the possible impact of Hurricane Matthew on the island.
Addressing an emergency meeting of members of Parliament and heads of relevant agencies at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday (September 29), Mr. McKenzie said meetings have been convened at various levels to ensure that all stakeholders are prepared to coordinate services in response to the Category 2 system, which is projected to impact the island on Sunday (October 2).
He said the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the parish councils will be provided with the necessary supplies for distribution if required.
The Minister noted that parish councils have also been advised that funds from the Parochial Revenue Fund (PRF) can be utilised to assist with social security services.
“We are insisting that whatever is needed to ensure that we minimise the extent of the effect of the hurricane, must be done,” he said.
He implored citizens to heed all warnings related to Hurricane Matthew.
“It is important that I make the point that when the call is made for persons to evacuate, for persons to seek safe ground, that those persons take the necessary precautions,” he said.
Director General of ODPEM, Major Clive Davis, reported that the agency is in a state of readiness following the meeting of the National Response Team on Thursday. The team includes the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Ministry of Health, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the National Works Agency (NWA).
Major Davis informed that contact has been made with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which stands ready to assist.
He noted that the parish disaster mechanisms have been triggered and emergency shelters have also been checked and assessed.
“As of (September 30), we will have a partial activation of the National Emergency Operation Centre where persons are at the ready to provide service,” he said, adding that full activation is expected for Sunday.