JIS News

With one week into the 2013 hurricane season, the Westmoreland Parish Council is ensuring that it is fully prepared for any system that may affect the island.

Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for the parish, Rev. Hilma Tate, told JIS News that 55 of the 85 shelters have already been inspected and shelter managers are being trained.

“Public education sessions are presently on in earnest as several schools and other groupings were being visited by myself and my team. Local media organisations and individuals are also assisting with the programme, with several residents, especially from disaster-prone areas such as McNeil Lands and Peggy Barry, also receiving training in disaster management,” she told JIS News.

“We are also presently updating our emergency contact list and plans are in place for the acquisition and storage of emergency equipment and foodstuff,” Rev. Tate informed.

She said the Road and Works Department cleans the drains regularly, with particular focus on flood-prone areas, and the work is proceeding satisfactorily.

“Most of the smaller drains in the parish are receiving ongoing cleaning and we are satisfied with the tremendous work presently being done on the Ferris Main Road drain, which is being reconstructed to manage that expected large body of water in that area,” she said.

Rev. Tate said the department is awaiting additional funds for “concentrated cleaning” to be done on major drains. She told JIS News that major bridges are also being constructed along the Smithfield and Mearnsville thoroughfares.

The six month hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.

Contact: Glenis A. Rose