JIS News

With this year’s hurricane season predicted to be one of the most active ever, the Westmoreland Disaster Committee is carrying out a comprehensive education programme, to sensitise residents and agencies of the need to prepare for any disaster.
Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for Westmoreland, Hilma Tate, told JIS News that the committee was targeting schools, business places and vulnerable community groups, to help them prepare disaster plans.
She informed that a sensitization session was recently carried out at the Torrington basic school, where several principals at the early childhood level participated in the preparation of emergency plans for their schools.
Miss Tate said she also met with tourism stakeholders at the Negril Tree House Club, where the critical importance and the general lay out of emergency plans, were given focus. “All these managers of groups and organizations, especially the principals of schools, have been encouraged, through these education training seminars, to prepare, as emergencies can occur anytime, not only during a hurricane”, she pointed out.
She noted that, “once the children go out to school, the principals and teachers are solely responsible for their safety, so there must be disaster and emergency plans in order for more effective responses during any form of emergency or disaster”.
The Westmoreland Disaster Coordinator told JIS News, that in addition to the public education effort, drain cleaning works were also being carried out.
The Westmoreland Health Department, she further informed, has “started the programme of inspection of emergency shelters and especially coming up to June, we will be stepping up and heightening our preparedness machinery across the parish.”
The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.