JIS News

The St. James Parish Council officially launched its Disaster Information Database System (DIDS), on September 11, at its monthly meeting in Montego Bay.
It was created and established with the help of two United States Peace Corps volunteers, with the objective of improving the management of shelters and resources for disaster operations.
The initiative was spearheaded by the St. James Parish Disaster Co-ordinator, Amanda Thompson.
The system makes data available to the public via the St. James Parish Council’s official website, including information on emergency shelters, contact lists, hazard data and standard forms used in disaster operations.
Commending the Peace Corps volunteers and the Disaster Co-ordinator for furnishing the Council with the system, Mayor Charles Sinclair, noted that the St. James Parish Council was the leading local authority in that regard.
“We must thank all the persons who have contributed to this great effort. Special thanks must be extended to Mrs. Thompson for what she has done to lift the profile of this Council, in respect to its disaster preparedness. I think that she has added much. She is a great asset to the St. James Parish Council,” Mayor Sinclair said.
Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Ronald Jackson, noted that the launch of the system was a step in the right direction, as the country sought to be more efficient in disaster management.
“I feel strongly about what has so far been achieved through this special project. We have not seen this kind of leadership, direction and thought and is something that we can borrow from, and ensure that other councils can borrow from, and improve their efficiency. I want to join you in hailing what I think is a great tool in enhancing democracy and governance, and which will stand up to be one product in this whole process of Local Governance Reform . You are opening up an avenue for people to get information relating to disaster management, bringing it closer to the people,” Mr. Jackson pointed out.
US Peace Corps volunteer, Nels Christianson, gave a demonstration of the DIDS operational procedures to participants at the launch.