Although the hurricane season may officially be over, staff members at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) are still spreading the message of early disaster preparedness.????????????
Last Monday, elementary students from the Rock Christian School toured the DEM headquarters, and were given a pep talk from its Director, Judy Thomas on the work of the organisation and the department’s relationship to Emergency Services, such as the Barbados Fire Service, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Emergency Ambulance Service and the Barbados Defence Force.
Stating that it was critical for families to be involved in disaster preparedness from the onset, Ms. Thomas emphasised that young people played a critical role in this area and stressed that early preparation was ???key’.
The packed agenda included a tour led by the DEM’s Technician Operator, Wesley Nicholls of the National Emergency Operation Centre, and the Emergency Telecommunications Centre, where pupils were given a live demonstration on the use of the ASTRO System, UHF and VHF radios.
Students also viewed the DEM’s national and sub-regional warehouses where supplies are stored for emergency responses to the country in Barbados’ Sub-regional Operational Focal Point including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica.
As part of the visit, the DEM featured a display of Barbadian relics to coincide with Independence, such as an old Rediffusion radio, iron heaters, flat irons, a "Home Sweet Home" oil lamp, autograph book, corning jar graters and a kerosene oven.
At the conclusion, Ms. Thomas presented the school with information posters, brochures, and emergency management games as well as a first aid kit to each student.