JIS News

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  • The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) are conducting assessments to determine whether the country suffered any dislocation as a result of the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
  • In a statement to the House yesterday (October 11), Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said ODPEM’s assessment will entail a review and recommendations to enhance the Government’s Shelter Management Programme.
  • He informed that while the municipal corporations are concluding their investigations in relation to the parochial infrastructure, “I have been formally advised that there is no severe damage”.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) are conducting assessments to determine whether the country suffered any dislocation as a result of the passage of Hurricane Matthew.

In a statement to the House yesterday (October 11), Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said ODPEM’s assessment will entail a review and recommendations to enhance the Government’s Shelter Management Programme.

He indicated that the review is being conducted in tandem with the Social Development Commission (SDC) and municipal corporations (parish councils).

Mr. McKenzie said one of the considerations under the review is a reduction of the number of emergency shelters housing persons evacuated from flood-prone areas from 900 to a “more manageable number”.

Other areas to be considered include a systems and procedures review of internal and external agencies; evaluation and updating of the National Emergency Operation Centre’s (NEOC) Standard

Operating Procedures; development of mutual aid and contract agreements with private-sector partners to ensure swift responses in the event of disasters; and updating of the National Response Coordination Plan over the long term.

Regarding the PIOJ, Mr. McKenzie said the agency is calculating the total production hours lost, consequent on the anticipated onset of Hurricane Matthew, and the impact on the economy.

Noting the administration’s concerns about possible infrastructural damage, Mr. McKenzie said he is “heartened” that this did not occur.

He informed that while the municipal corporations are concluding their investigations in relation to the parochial infrastructure, “I have been formally advised that there is no severe damage”.

Additionally, the Minister said the National Works Agency (NWA) has given a similar feedback in relation to the road network islandwide.

Mr. McKenzie expressed gratitude for the role played by all public- and private-sector stakeholders, particularly ODPEM, in dealing with the threat posed by Hurricane Matthew.

“While we hope that there will be no further brushes with weather systems for the rest of the hurricane season, the country can be assured that the Government will be ready to lead Jamaica through (any) storm,” he added.