JIS News

Disaster Preparedness Co-ordinator with the Clarendon Parish Council, Charmaine Williams, has urged residents of Milk River, a low lying community close to the south coast, to ensure that all possible measures are taken to protect life and property during this hurricane season.
Addressing the residents on June 29, Mrs. Williams informed that paramount to mitigating against the losses inherent in a natural disaster, is the deliberate preparation which takes place before the event.
This, she said, would necessitate the formulation of an emergency plan. Elements of this plan would include the identification of a group of persons to provide the level of leadership necessary to respond appropriately in guiding other residents, to ensure all the pre-hurricane season preparations take place.
She noted that the trimming of tree branches and other overhanging material, which are potentially harmful, should be done, in addition to identifying persons and equipment within the community to be enlisted in the preparatory work. The cleaning of drains, she pointed out, is of utmost importance, as this should help to reduce the risk of flooding. Non-perishable food items, which do not require cooking, should be stockpiled, along with fuel, batteries and plastic containers, for securing important documents, clothing and appliances. Phone batteries should also be charged to allow for easy communication afterwards.
Plans should be made for an early evacuation if this becomes necessary, and persons were advised to map out, before hand, the safest route to a designated shelter.
Mrs. Williams further warned persons not to be fooled by the deceptive air of calmness that prevails while the “eye of the hurricane” is passing, as this could turn around without warning, and result in untold grief.
“You do not go outside during the eye. No one knows when the storm is going to turn around; so it is advised that you do not go outside when the calm is there, and you should continue to listen to your radio,” she said.
The residents were also urged to exercise care after the hurricane, as the environment would be laden with dislodged and broken material, which ought to be carefully handled to prevent further negative occurrences.

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