Prime Minister Urges Jamaicans to Unite


Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has urged all Jamaicans to unite as the nation prepares for the passage of Hurricane Dean this weekend. She was addressing a press briefing at Jamaica House on Friday, August 17 following a meeting of the National Disaster Committee.
The Prime Minister said, “I have asked the Leader of the Opposition to name a team so a bipartisan approach can be taken and both of us have agreed to be in touch, as we rally Jamaicans to support each other.”
Prime Minister Simpson Miller appealed to the nation to pay special attention to ensuring that the elderly, sick, physically challenged, children and all vulnerable members of society are taken care of.
“Everyone must take the threat very seriously and put in place all necessary safety measures,” the Prime Minister stressed.
In the meantime, the state of readiness of the various disaster response agencies was assessed during the meeting of the National Disaster Committee.The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is coordinating the national response effort.
As Jamaica braces for the possible impact of Hurricane Dean, all the emergency services including the army, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Fire Brigade and the health facilities are on high alert.
Non-governmental agencies such as the Red Cross, Food for the Poor, the Salvation Army and the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency (ADRA) are on stand-by while Parish Disaster Committees have been activated.
The Prime Minister has instructed that all designated emergency shelters be made available. She said, “Persons responsible for shelters who have keys must be on stand-by to open them.”
The Prime Minister further stated, “The National Arena should be available if the need arises as well as all schools selected as emergency shelters.”
With respect to transporting evacuees to emergency shelters, the Prime Minister advised that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company would be providing 50 buses.
“All police, fire and other personnel on leave must return to work immediately and all public buildings and state records and documents must be properly secured,” the Prime Minister instructed.

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