JIS News

The St. Catherine Parish Disaster Committee is compiling a list of volunteers who will offer their services in the event of a disaster.
Co-ordinator for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in the parish, Patricia Lewis told JIS News that the decision was made at a recent disaster committee meeting, as it was felt that there was need to revive the spirit of volunteerism.
She said the committee was looking for persons who were skilled in areas such as carpentry, masonry or welding, and who were willing to work “before, during and after a disaster”. She added that the volunteers should also be willing to work as Shelter Managers. Interested persons can contact the ODPEM office at the St. Catherine Parish Council in Spanish Town.
Miss Lewis said that eight persons who had expertise in various fields had volunteered to be on stand-by to work at shelters during Hurricane Dennis. However, she said this had not been necessary as most of the persons were leaving the shelters.
Up to late Friday afternoon, Miss Lewis said there were 22 persons at the Bog Walk High School and four at the Old Harbour Bay Adventist Church, but the numbers are expected to decrease significantly, since corrective measures were being put in place for those at the shelters to return home.
She said the Committee was pleased with the response from shelter managers in the Linstead Zone.
“They responded quickly and we co-ordinated the efforts quite well,” she added, attributing their quick response to a two-day training seminar held for shelter managers early this year. “In the Linstead and Bog Walk areas, we saw where the training was useful, because when we called them they were alert and responded, so we are going to ensure that we get the same response from persons in the Spanish Town area,” Miss Lewis said.
Participants for the training were drawn from the Linstead Zone, comprising Bog Walk, Harkers Hall, Above Rocks, Glengoffe, Mount Industry, Riversdale, Guys Hill, Ewarton, Tyedixon and Lluidasvale.Miss Lewis pointed out that training for shelter managers in the Spanish Town area was scheduled for July 19 and 20.