Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams (second left), DEM staff and officials touring the new facilities at the George Greaves Building today. (S.Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

“We are in the midst of a very active hurricane season, and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), must be as ready as it can be in the eventuality Barbados is hit.”

Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, made this statement today, as he spoke to staff of the DEM, while touring the new facilities, located, #24 Warrens Industrial Park, Warrens, St. Michael.

Director of the DEM, Kerry Hinds, guided the Minister, who was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Deborah Payne; and Director of Public Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pat Parris, around the fully shuttered building, which includes a telecommunications room, a volunteer area, a First Aid room, a call centre and separate sleeping quarters for both genders.

“I wanted to meet onsite to get a better feel for what it is that you do, what challenges you face, what it is that you need and where exactly we are to be able to carry out the department’s mandate, and I am very glad that we got the chance to come here and tour.

“I feel a whole lot better having come here and met you and seen some of the systems that you have in place and the framework to make this into the ideal DEM. You have the framework to position yourselves to do your job properly and serve Barbados and the region,” Minister Abrahams said, as he explained to staff why he toured the new facility.

He thanked the staff for the role they played over the years in preparing Barbados to be “fully ready and fully functional” before, during, and after a disaster, and encouraged them to provide any feedback, no matter how small, on how the department could be improved.

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