PR – As we move closer to June 1st the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the National Disaster Management Agency has been working tirelessly to ensure that amid the response to the COVID 19 Pandemic that we have activated our hurricane preparedness plan and is now ensuring that all the mandatory actions are completed for the June 1st start.
On Wednesday, the National Emergency Advisory Council (NEAC) convened a general meeting, where all major sectors represented on the body reported on their level of readiness for the upcoming season.
Minister of State with responsibility for Disaster Management and Chairman of the meeting Senator the Hon. Dr. Winston Garraway said “the agency will continue to work with all Partners to increase Preparedness and to Coordinate response and recovery capabilities. This hurricane season which is forecast to be above average will add new challenges to an already battered economy by COVID 19.” The Minister reminded the meeting that “it only takes one hurricane to change the lives of a community.”
Presently, Shelter Inspection is into its second week, and is scheduled to complete on June 2nd. In the meantime, last year’s approved list of 137 shelters will remain in effect until a new updated list is approved.
In addition, on May 31st the Agency will be participating in a joint simulation exercise with St. Vincent and Grenadians, testing the readiness of our communication equipment.
2020 is expected to be a unique year for Disaster Management, as the key sectors and players will need to review their hurricane plans congruent with the COVID 19 regulations which currently exist.
With an above average season forecast for this year’s cyclonic period which runs from June 1st – November 30th in the midst of this pandemic, serves as a reminder to the population of the need to always BE PREPARED.
With most people still working from home, we urge all to set aside some of your time to ensure that your gutters are cleared, drains opened, emergency supply kits restocked and the need to revisit your family emergency plans with all members.
Guided by the Ministry of Health, the country continues to weather the storm presented by the Corona virus, however, what will be detrimental to our people at this time is the emergence of complacency moving into this cyclonic season.
The Agency urges all to practice the principles of comprehensive Disaster Management; be prepared for all hazards and implement all phases of disaster management – Prepare, Prevent, Respond and Recover.
NaDMA will continue to work closely with our key stakeholders to ensure information is shared in a timely manner so that the necessary actions can be taken that will always ensure LIVES, LIVELIHOODS AND PROPERTIES are protected as much as possible.
We remind the nation, that “AN INDIVIDUAL’S SAFETY IS ONE’S PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY”, therefore we encourage all to remain vigilant, be cautious, and do your part in ensuring that we all remain safe during this COVID 19 and soon to start hurricane Season 2020.
NaDMA will be engaging in a series of public awareness campaigns on the various media platforms, reminders of the do’s and don’ts during this predicted active season.