NODS ready for hurricane season

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Seven days into the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the list of shelters is yet to be published.
Director of National Office of Disaster Services (NODS), Philmore Mullin said although all the state agencies involved in the relief efforts to include NODS, the Defence Force and the Emergency Medical Services are ready, the Public Works Department is still compiling the list of shelters for people who may need temporary housing in the event of a hurricane.
“The list will be issued shortly,” Mullin said. “The last time I checked Public Works was still compiling it … based on the assessment that was made, so the previous list will stand until the new list is published.”
The Atlantic Hurricane Season began on Thursday, June 1 and a busier than usual season has already been predicted.
Mullin admitted that there was no way to test the level of preparedness unless a disaster strikes.
The NODS director said the true challenge is managing people going to shelters and ensuring the occupants are adhering to what is outlined in the rules.
Previously, building owners and managers complained of challenges to reclaim buildings long after a disaster has passed through the country as well as the abandonment or inadequate care of adults and young children in the shelters.
“Shelter managers have very basic training and so we continue to encourage relatives of the elderly to do good by them. However, if that continues we may have to look at whether we need alternative shelters specific to those types of persons,” Mullin said.
The disaster campaign is continuing year round and Mullin said due to the country’s geographical location it is prone to certain disasters and residents should not become complacent.
“Irregardless of the predictions it only takes one hurricane to do damage and therefore we need to be prepared and get our affairs in order. We should not wait until there is a direct threat to try and do last minute things,” he added.
Forecasters expect that between five to nine out of the 11 to 17 named storms could become hurricanes and that about two to four of them could be major hurricanes. They are Arlene (which formed in April), Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.
The 2017 hurricane
season ends on November 30.

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