Members of the public are being encouraged to only go to hurricane shelters if it is absolutely necessary.
This advice came from Acting Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, during an interview at the inaugural Schools’ Hurricane Symposium hosted by the DEM at the Queen’s Park Steel Shed on Tuesday.
Ms. Hinds suggested that persons retrofit their houses and have a safe room so they could shelter at home. “It is better to be in an environment which is friendly,” she advised.
The Acting Director also urged residents to be in a constant state of readiness during this hurricane season. “Remember, it only takes one storm to change life as we know it, so take all the necessary precautions and ensure that you have your emergency supplies ready,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, she gave the assurance that the necessary structural checks and assessments were conducted on hurricane shelters to determine the level of impact they could withstand. “Based on those assessments, some were taken off the list for Category One,” she explained.
The 2016 Hurricane Shelter booklet indicates that there are 15 public Category One shelters and 41 Category Two shelters. Category One shelters are used during a hurricane or hazard event, while the Category Two shelters are used if they are still in a reasonable condition following a hazard event or disaster.