Follow the advice of Emergency personnel!

This warning was given today by Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, as he updated Barbadians about the procedures taken in preparation for the passage of Tropical Storm Chantal from the National Emergency Operations Centre based at the Department of Emergency Management in Warrens, St. Michael.

Mr. Brathwaite expressed serious concern that residents in some communities were seen at bus stops waiting to go to work before the ‘All Clear’ was given for the passage of the system.

And, he stressed that under the prevailing circumstances he had followed the advice of the professionals, and implored all citizens to do likewise. He cautioned persons that a failure to take this advice could lead to a false sense of security, which could result in problems down the road.

???On my way down here, I noticed a lot of individuals on the road; I noticed newspaper vendors selling papers??? We cannot continue to emphasise that we want Barbadians to take our procedures and protocols more seriously. Until we give a definitive all clear then you should stay indoors,??? Mr. Brathwaite stressed.

He noted that the Parliament of Barbados was scheduled to convene today at 10:00 a.m., but was cancelled because there was no ‘All Clear’.

He observed that in some parts of St. Philip it had rained for approximately 20 minutes prior to the complete lull, thereby luring people into a false sense of security.

???It is not an exact science. I know people complain and say that we say a system is coming and then nothing happens; but we rather get it wrong in the interest of Barbadians, and close the country down and nothing happens, than to let the country be open and people be caught off guard,??? he stated.

However, the DEM came in for high praise from Mr. Brathwaite, who expressed satisfaction that the emergency management agency had executed all the necessary procedures and protocols under the prevailing circumstances.

??????I am very pleased with what I have seen and heard, and that [level of satisfaction] was borne out by our friends at CDEMA [Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency] in terms of our protocols, in terms of our staff coming in last night and staying the course??? It means we don???t always get it perfect, but I am very pleased with what I heard on radio and [saw on] television,??? he noted.

Mr. Brathwaite added that his message to the public was to take the warnings more seriously and be prepared.??

Meanwhile, the DEM and the Barbados Meteorological Service came in for high praise from the Minister in the way they went about alerting and informing the public about the storm.

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