Take action now! That is the advice from Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds, as Barbados remains under storm warning as Tropical Storm Elsa continues its journey towards the island chain.
“This is the time to remove loose objects from around your homes. Secure your garbage cans; remove plant pots and other loose objects to avoid them from becoming missiles,” she stressed.
The DEM Director further implored residents not to wait until the last minute to complete their preparations and try to make their way home.
She urged persons to store water; have their torch lights handy, and make an early exit plan if their home is already compromised.
“Do not wait until the system begins to affect the island to try to seek alternative shelter. If you know your home is unlikely to withstand tropical storm conditions, make a plan now to stay with family or friends first, or a hurricane shelter as a last resort,” Ms. Hinds stated.
She also encouraged persons to check on elderly relatives and neighbours, and be each other’s keeper during the system’s passage.
The DEM Director also encouraged persons to pack a go-bag with a change of clothes; important documents, such as bank papers for their homes, insurance documents, passports and birth certificates; all medication and a supply of food for themselves and their families.
More importantly, she underscored the importance of everyone listening for updates throughout the day.
Residents may download the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) app on their Android and Apple devices to stay abreast of the updates. Alternatively, they may also download the BMS app – BMS Insight – to receive updates on systems likely to affect the island. This app is only available for Android devices at this time.
Ms. Hinds stressed that in the event of an emergency, residents should contact the Royal Barbados Police Force at 211; the Barbados Fire Service at 311 and the Barbados Ambulance Service at 511.
To report in the wake of an event, they may call the DEM at 438-7575, so a record of the report could be made and the relevant response agencies activated to provide assistance, if necessary.