St. Elizabeth Disaster Committee Assessing Emergency Shelters

St. Elizabeth Disaster Committee is carrying out an assessment of the 100 emergency shelters in the parish, to determine the readiness of the facilities for the hurricane season, which begins on June 1.
Disaster Co-ordinator for St. Elizabeth, Yvonne Morrison, told JIS News that the assessment, which will be carried out over the next few months, is being done in conjunction with the Jamaica Fire Brigade, St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Salvation Army and Red Cross.
“We think that now is the opportune time to begin as the prediction is for there to be some 17 major hurricanes this season,” she pointed out.
Ms. Morrison noted that as part of the assessment process, “we are also at the same time looking at how many shelter managers are in place as it was one year ago that we last conducted a special training for such persons. If necessary, we will undertake another training session for any new shelter manager, who might sign up.”
Meanwhile, the parish Disaster Co-ordinator is urging residents to prepare for the hurricane season. “Remember the experience of recent hurricanes such as Charlie and Ivan and be on the alert. Follow the directives as laid down by the ODPEM (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management) by having enough emergency supplies in stock,” she advised, adding that it is also a good idea for each household to have a special evacuation plan in place.
Ms. Morrison said that community members must also know where the emergency shelters are located. “If you don’t have this information at this time, then please make contact with my office by calling the St. Elizabeth Parish Council and we would be only too glad to help,” she said.

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