Copies of the 2007 Central Emergency Relief Organisation (CERO) booklet are now available from the Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports, Elsie Payne Complex, Constitution Road, St. Michael.
Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, said that the handbook, published by the Ministry, “lists information on all shelters and their wardens” and members of the public should collect copies to familiarise themselves with the contents, in the event that they need to use the shelters.
He indicated that there were currently 81 Category One shelters and advised that persons should “go to them at least two hours before a hurricane, once the Meteorological Office confirms that there is a hurricane pending”.
Mr. King explained that Category One shelters had basic facilities and “should be able to withstand certain winds and water strengths, while Category Two shelters “are used after the hurricane has passed” for persons whose homes have been damaged. “Category Three shelters are used only in cases of prolonged dislocation,” he said.
The Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer disclosed that there were four shelters fully equipped to handle persons with disabilities – Ellerslie, Coleridge and Parry, Lester Vaughan and St. Christopher Schools, and about 20 of them were suitable for accommodating the temporarily injured (broken limbs, etc).
Mr. King listed some of the essentials that should be taken to the shelters. They are: linen, flashlights, transistor radios, batteries, first aid kits, water, medication and food for 72 hours. He advised that all persons entering the shelters “must complete a registration form on arrival for accountability purposes”.