Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Minister warns Bajans not to let COVID-19 stop their hurricane prep

Hurricane Dorian as it approached the Caribbean (file photo)

Hurricane Dorian as it approached the Caribbean (file photo)

COVID-19 or no COVID-19, it is the intention of the Government of Barbados to have a proactive strategy in place to ensure Barbados is adequately prepared for the impending hurricane season.

In addition to preparation at the governmental level, Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson also wants residents of Barbados to ready themselves for the above-normal activity forecast for the 2020 hurricane season.

 

“We have to therefore prepare. We have no choice, COVID-19 or no COVID-19, but to do our best as a country at the level of our Government, which we are doing and which we will continue to for our community, our family and our individual persons to prepare for any eventualities in terms of the possibility of the advent of hurricanes affecting Barbados and the wider region this year. All of the predictions are for an above-average hurricane season and of course, a forecast is just what it is, but life is a question of averages of possibilities and probabilities and I would want us as a people to err on the side of caution,” Minister Hinkson urged while addressing a media briefing on the 2020 hurricane season on Saturday.

The Minister responsible for Home Affairs implored Barbadians not to let the current pandemic stop them from making the necessary preparations. While conceding that the economic impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous the Minister urged Barbadians not to become complacent but instead ready their plans for the season ahead.

“I understand the devastating effect that COVID-19 has had on our country, on our people, but we have to do our best, and I join in the urge to Barbadians today, on the advent of a six-month official hurricane season, with two storms already having been in the region, to do your best, do the best you can in terms of preparing your household, your families, your communities for what will lie ahead of us.”

Iterating the necessity for everyone to be involved, he stressed that while government is ensuring the adequate supplies are available and the necessary systems are in place, it is the responsibility of every individual household to have a preparation plan.

“While no one, no human being alive can prevent a hurricane coming to a country in which they live in, you can do your best to try to lessen the adverse effects of that natural disaster and to obviously prepare for the aftermath of the disaster in terms of recovery,” the Minister advised.

Among other things, the Minister reminded residents to secure important documents, stock up on essential medications, clean around their properties and ensure they had sufficient protective gear and equipment.

“We will be fighting two national challenges - a health challenge and [a] possible natural disaster challenge in our country and in our region this year, both of which have severe economic repercussions on our people,” Minister Hinkson stated while encouraging Barbadians not to let the former stifle their preparation for the latter.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: