As storms pummel the southern Caribbean islands in an unusual phenomenon, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) declares it is fully prepared for this year’s hurricane season –
expected to be more active than last year, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Led by its new Director, a NODS team reportedly gave a detailed report of each community’s readiness to the Cabinet, on Wednesday June 29.
NODS claims that each community – some of which have had repair work done and bridges built to alleviate flooding – is ready to deal with heavy rainfall and strong winds.
Working with several partners, NODS reportedly has also negotiated cyclone insurance and the provision of emergency kits. But while storage at its headquarters is adequate, the agency says, an attempt to pre-position kits at several shelters has not worked well.
Meanwhile, it indicates that there are 64 emergency shelters, including a church in Barbuda.
The agency notes that many of the churches intended to be used as shelters have bathrooms that are not attached to the buildings, which makes them less safe for persons who must use the facilities during a storm.
On a separate note, NODS also reports that the illegal dumping of garbage is still going on – clogging waterways, drains and ponds and rendering them dangerous during heavy rainfall, and causing flooding.
A comprehensive report on each of the district’s drains and bridges will be reported to the Cabinet at a later date.