Friday 16 November, 2018

DEM: 'Activate disaster plans' as Hurricane Isaac approaches

Kerry Hinds, Director of the DEM.

Kerry Hinds, Director of the DEM.

The Department of Emergency Management (DEM) has put the country on alert and urged citizens and businesses to activate disaster plans.  

Word of this came from Director of the DEM, Kerry Hinds during a press conference held on Sunday night with key stakeholders at Government Headquarters to discuss preparations for the impending weather system. 

Hurricane Isaac is projected to make impact with Barbados sometime on Wednesday night and into Thursday.  

Hinds said all disaster agencies have been advised to activate internal hurricane procedures.  

“We would have indicated to the relevant agencies of the National Emergency Management System to activate their own internal procedures as we continue to monitor the progress [of] Isaac.” 

She also urged citizens to carry out the necessary hurricane preparations.  

“I would wish to encourage the public to activate their various disaster plans and be very precautious as it relates to the impending system.” 

She noted the clean-up of properties, gathering of supplies and monitoring updates from authorities as crucial activities for the public to carry out between today and Wednesday.  

Commissioner of Police, Tyrone Griffith said law enforcement had reviewed and revised hurricane protocols and stand ready, along with the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), to deal with any fall-out from the weather system.  

Prime Minister, Mia Mottley urged Barbadians to take no chances with Hurricane Isaac, saying: “It is not about panicking anybody ... we need to prepare.

“Even if the hurricane does not hit us, we have to be prepared to deal with the flooding,” the PM noted and explained the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance is developing a plan to address the 10 most likely flood-prone areas across the island for cleaning.  

She said there are at present 21 Category 1 hurricane shelters across the island and government will be searching out shelter options in St. Joseph and St. Andrew to address the shortage of shelters there.  

She stressed to all Barbadians that following the passage of the system, the all-clear will be given only through the voice of the Minister of Home Affairs or the police and they are to heed the advice of no one else.  

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