JIS News

As Tropical Storm Gustav approaches the island, the St. Mary Parish Disaster Committee, is making a special effort to ensure that the parish is in the best state of preparedness, for any emergency that might result.
Emergency organisations serving the parish, gave the assurance at a meeting of the St. Mary Parish Disaster Committee in Port Maria on Tuesday (August 26), that the necessary plans and arrangements have been put in place, to mitigate the effects of any disaster that may occur, and to ensure a swift and effective response to emergencies.
Organisations present at the meeting included the National Water Commission, the Jamaica Defence Force, the St. Mary Parish Council, the St. Mary Fire Department, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
Speaking to JIS News, Disaster Coordinator for St. Mary, Yolande Williams, said she was satisfied with the general state of readiness in the parish, as extensive planning has been done to enable the various communities to handle emergencies.
Stating that all the zonal committees in the parish have been fully mobilised as a result of the threat posed by the tropical storm, she said all emergency shelter managers have been placed on alert, adding that the shelters at Annotto Bay and Port Maria, have been designated “priority centres”, because of the high propensity for flooding in those towns.
She said the committee has also made adequate preparations to manage the effects of any disaster that may result from the tropical storm, adding that the officers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will play a critical role in assessing damage and losses suffered in the communities, as well as the distribution of any relief assistance that may become necessary as a result.