Minister of Home Affairs, Information & Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams; BCA Marketing and Communications Manager, Steven Leslie; and DEM Director, Kerry Hinds, perusing the 2021 shelter booklet after this morning’s press conference. (J. Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS)

A collaboration, involving the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), has birthed a public awareness campaign reinforcing the importance of hurricane preparedness.

DEM’s Director, Kerry Hinds, announced the partnership during the annual press conference to mark the start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which was held this morning at the organisation’s headquarters, located in Warrens, St. Michael.

“Who would’ve thought cricket and hurricane preparedness? [It] may be an unlikely match, [but] I hope it would encourage all persons across the island to get on board,” Ms. Hinds stated.

The campaign, so far, features videos of three Barbadian cricketers, Jason Holder, Craigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, encouraging the public to “be safe and be prepared” by taking the threat posed by tropical cyclones seriously, and avoiding complacency.

Manager, Marketing and Communications at the BCA, Steven Leslie, said the association approached the DEM and CDEMA with the idea, after observing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their usual activities and the lives of many.

The situation, according to Mr. Leslie, prompted the Barbados Cricket Association to initiate a campaign featuring “some of our young contemporary cricketers and have them be part of your message, a campaign, which would allow everyone to be aware that they need to keep safe and be prepared for the season”.  

“Initially, we have identified young Craigg Brathwaite, who is the current West Indies Test Captain; Mr. Jason Holder, who you know served very well for a number of years in that capacity, and our star, One Day International batsman in Shai Hope. These young men, in different parts of the globe, clearly are excited to be part of this initial campaign,” he stated, noting that the selected players were identifiable and relatable to the targeted demographics, youth and middle-aged individuals.

Mr. Leslie indicated that BCA’s partnership with the DEM and CDEMA has the potential to grow, stating that “the sky is the limit”.

Meteorologists have predicted an active 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, forecasting 13 to 20 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes reaching Category 3 or higher.

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