PM to address nation on Tomas preparations tonight


Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, will address the nation at 9:00 pm tonight (Nov. 4) to further outline the Government’s disaster preparedness plan in light of the impending threat of Tropical Depression Tomas.
Speaking at yesterday’s (Nov. 3) post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said the Prime Minister returns to the island from Barbados at mid-day today and will go directly to the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management for a meeting of all the critical agencies.
“(After which) we will leave to go to the emergency centre set up by the Ministry of Health at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital,” he said.
Also today, Mr. Golding is expected to meet with the parish committees in St. Thomas and Portland, which are likely to be the worst affected based on the projected path of Tomas.
Minister Vaz said that the Government is putting all measures in place to ensure that the country is as prepared as possible for the weather system.
He informed that meetings have been held with representatives from both the National Water Commission (NWC) and the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), and they have assured that all the necessary protocols are in place.
Meanwhile, Director of Emergency Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, told journalists said the National Emergency Operations Centre has been activated. She said that as of Tuesday (November 2) all parish health departments and hospitals were instructed to activate their own centres.
“These activities are geared at ensuring continuation of service delivery before, during and after the effects of the weather system,” she stated.
Dr. Bullock DuCasse said the Ministry of Health is urging the public to take all actions to avoid injuries and to ensure that they are using safe water. “Food safety is also critical and we would like to assure the public that our health teams are in place to respond to any eventualities,” she said.
She made a special appeal to pregnant women, who live in communities that might become isolated, to move from those areas to locations that are closer to a hospital.
“If you are able to do so, please attend the hospitals and we will keep you there before, during and after the event,” she said.

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