JIS News

Several schools in Portmore have been designated as priority shelters by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), in an effort to ensure the protection and safety of children.
The shelters are Naggo Head Primary School, Gregory Park Primary School, Kensington Primary School, the Portmore Heart Academy, South Bourough Primary School and Portsmouth Primary School
Portmore’s Disaster Coordinator, Phillipa Ricketts Edmund, told JIS that these shelters would be the first to be opened, depending on the type of hazard that residents might be exposed to.
“There are other shelters, but (only) if the situation warrants for them to be opened they will be opened,” she said.
Mrs. Ricketts Edmund said that only one of the priority shelters, the Gregory Park Primary School, has had to be activated since the start of the flood rains. However, she said that persons did not stay at the shelter.
“What they wanted was food, beddings and blankets, they really did not want to stay at the shelter,” she explained.
She noted that some of the worst affected communities were located in Gregory Park, Waterford and Greater Portmore. Some persons were also marooned in Portmore Villa and Gregory Park, where a number of roads were flooded.
The Disaster Coordinator said that assistance was given to a family in Gregory Park, after a tree fell on their zinc-roof house last evening causing major damage to the building and loss of life.
“We have given them some tarpaulin, and we are in the process of getting some foodstuff to them. They will also be getting blankets and any other items that they need,” she said.
Additionally, she said the efforts would be made to get additional assistance from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Poor Relief Department.
According to Mrs. Ricketts Edmund, the family has opted not to stay at the shelter, but is staying at homes of relatives in the community.

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