Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The St. James Disaster Preparedness Committee said it is well advanced with plans to meet and address any challenge that the upcoming Hurricane Season may pose.
  • All is in place to meet the 2014 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
  • Sixty-three of 70 official emergency shelters across the parish are in a state of readiness.

The St. James Disaster Preparedness Committee said it is well advanced with plans to meet and address any challenge that the upcoming Hurricane Season may pose.

Following a meeting of the Committee at the St. James Parish Council on May 20, Co-ordinator, Disaster Preparedness for the parish, Tamoy Sinclair, told JIS News that all is in place to meet the 2014 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

She informed that stakeholders, including the Police, the Jamaica Public Service Company, the Fire Department, the Ministries of Health and Labour as well as the Poor Relief Department attended the meeting, where a comprehensive update was given.

“Our stakeholders outlined their respective plans, and as a group we explored every aspect in an effort to ensure that the parish of St. James and its residents will not be adversely affected in the event of a storm, heavy rains or a major hurricane,” she said.

Miss Sinclair advised that there is an on-going drain cleaning programme across the parish, with most focus being placed on the major drains, especially the North and South Gullies, which run through the centre of downtown Montego Bay.

The Co-ordinator noted that 63 of 70 official emergency shelters across the parish are in a state of readiness.

“The committee members have decided that before the end of the month an inspection of all shelters will take place to ensure that the seven which are not ready, are brought up to standard. We are extremely happy with the work that has taken place over the past few months and remain optimistic that everything will be in place during the season,” Miss Sinclair said.

The United Kingdom-based Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) is predicting that there is a 40 per cent chance the next hurricane season will be above average.

The TSR said there is a 33 per cent likelihood that the season will be normal and 27 per cent it will be below average.

However, TSR said based on current and projected climate activities; the extended range forecast for Atlantic hurricane activity in 2014 anticipates near-norm activity. TSR is also forecasting that the Caribbean region could be in for at least 14 tropical storms, including six hurricanes, with three being intense.