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The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is encouraging persons to take the time to ensure that their properties are protected in the event that a tropical cyclone should affect the island.
Speaking recently on the JIS Television Programme ‘Get the Facts’, Acting Director-General at the ODPEM, Richard Thompson, said the roof of the house should be thoroughly checked.
“One of the things that normally happens during a hurricane is that persons tend to lose their roofs; so your roof retrofitting is critical to the process of individual preparation,” Mr. Thompson said.
“A lot of persons … found out during Tropical Storm Elsa that they ,,, have been having roof leaks; you sort that out now you, you look if you have enough hurricane straps, if you don’t, put those in,” he added.
The Acting Director-General further encouraged persons to clear their yards of loose items.
“Look at your general yard situation. Sometimes we have a lot of old stuff we would throw down in the yard; you have to start cleaning up those, getting rid of what as missiles during a hurricane, and you don’t want for it to damage your house, your neighbour’s or damage individuals, so you have to make the necessary preparations now to clean up those,” Mr. Thompson stated.
Persons are also being encouraged to trim trees that hang over the house and other buildings
“A lot of us … have trees in our yard…. if you have to do some limbing of those, you do that. If the trees are too large and they are too close to your house, probably might need to think of getting rid of those and then you replant something which is not so close to the house,” Mr. Thompson informed.
Regarding windows, the Acting Director-General said these can be blown out during a hurricane or storm. He recommended that persons install storm shutters, as a means of protecting property.
“For persons who can afford to put in storm shutters we say put those in. For those persons who can’t afford that, we normally say to persons ensure you have enough ply boards around, so if we have a hurricane watch or we go to a hurricane warning and you have to now do your battening up, you can use your ply board to protect your windows,” Mr. Thompson said.
For more information on hurricane preparedness persons may visit the ODPEM’S website at https://www.odpem.org.jm/hurricane-season-preparedness-tips/