JIS News

Disaster Preparedness Co-ordinator for Westmoreland, Hilma Tate, has expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness in the parish for the hurricane season, which began on June 1.
“In this parish, we have been working assiduously to ensure that the level of preparedness is at a high. Presently, the main drains in the town and adjoining areas are being cleaned and the public is being sensitised on precautionary measures to take before, during and after a disaster, such as flooding from hurricane,” she told JIS News in an interview.
“We are now involved in a massive sensitisation programme across the communities where citizens are educated on mitigation exercises. We have been going into schools, business places and community organisations to carry out training and sensitisation exercises, including drills, in order to sharpen citizens’ preparedness levels. We are even involved in radio programmes where more citizens are being reached with the information,” Ms. Tate added.
She reported that of 85 emergency shelters located across the parish, 71 have been inspected and managers identified for each.
“Training for shelter managers has been held and all our managers are presently on alert in case of a disaster. All our contact lists are up to date as well as storage containers in place for emergency supplies. I would hasten to advise all our citizens who are living in flood-prone areas to be extra careful and to ensure that they are prepared for flooding from heavy rains. They need to ensure that their furniture are elevated and important documents are properly stored away,” Miss Tate said.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Savanna-la-Mar, Bertel Moore, is urging the National Works Agency (NWA) and the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) to assist the Westmoreland Parish Council in its disaster preparedness efforts, by cleaning the drains that belong to them.
“We are now in the process of enhancing our disaster preparedness levels and empowering our citizens to be ready for any disaster. We are therefore appealing to the NWA and the SCJ to assist the parish council in making the parish safer by cleaning their drains now,” the Mayor appealed.

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