On Sunday 13th June, during the Annou Pale PM, Roosevelt Skerrit discussed about the preparedness of the country and the disaster management departments against arriving 2021 Hurricane Season. The guest at this show were Fitzroy Pascal, who is National Disaster Preparedness Coordinator, Glenroy Toussaint, who holds the authority of Local Government Commissioner, and Marshall Alexander, Acting senior meteorological officer.
During the Annou Pale, PM Skerrit questioned Fitzroy Pascal about development in their department for preparedness against the Hurricane Season. Fitzroy Pascal said that they are enhancing the system to face the upcoming severe effects of the Hurricane season by updating the protocols for emergency support functions which include relief management, emergency communications, shelter management.
Pascal said that their department had enhanced the plans of emergency communication. These enhancements have been made by taking lessons from the previous hurricanes like Hurricane Maria and the recent volcanic eruption in St Vincent and Grenadines.
Pascal also added that their department has also developed partnerships with stakeholders in private sectors, public sectors and NGOs. The Office of Disaster Management has also been taking steps at the national as well as the regional level to give support which is necessary before and after the event.
While fighting with the COVID-19 pandemic, the department has made 3 district committees to operate in 3 different districts of the North area, South and East. So that these committees also provide support to the department in various districts and communities during the Hurricane Season.
Pascal also informed that their department has also been working with Police for the purpose of telecommunication. Along with this, the department is also continuing in installing the VHF, radios and repeaters. The ODM always increase its capacity of training the people of the island on the national level, community level, district level.
Pascal Reported that last year the ODM trained 400 people in emergency communication, shelter management and some were trained in relief management. Further, they are looking for giving training to people under community evacuation exercise, which will be conducted in July 2021 at Namlai. This will also information for the upcoming plans for shelter managements.
Fitzroy Pascal said that disaster management is everybody’s business and responsibility. All should take steps to protect themselves and their families. All should have their emergency plans that where they have to go and where they have to contact, avoid spreading fake news and try to get information from the official sources.