Local businesses are being urged to join forces with Government to handle matters related to disaster risk management (DRM).

???Government alone cannot tackle the issue of disaster management and disaster risk reduction,??? said Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

Furthermore, he told members of the business community attending the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry???s monthly lunchtime lecture that it was not about facilitation, but about ensuring that the island???s way of life continued after disaster struck.

He explained that Barbados would be challenged with its ability to return to normalcy following a natural or manmade disaster.

???You have an important role to play. And therefore we are suggesting that you need to join with Government so that we can work together to identify areas where we can reduce risk, areas where we can mitigate against risks, and areas that you yourselves can take ownership, particularly in the community within which you operate,??? Mr. Brathwaite said.

He added that the private sector was incorporated into the national emergency plan to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.

Noting that much was being said about the Ebola virus, Mr. Brathwaite said the question everyone should be asking was ???whether or not we should have had systems in place to address any kind of hazard like that because of its potential to do damage to us as a country???.

???We need to focus on our ability to respond to all kinds of disaster, whether man-made or natural, whether it is medical, whether it be storms or earthquakes,??? he stated.

He also rapped those who stayed away during a simulation exercise to evacuate Bridgetown to avoid ???going through the hassle???, or who categorised it as a waste of time and money.

???Our responsibility is to plan, our responsibility is to train, [and] our responsibility is to ensure that we can respond. My responsibility as Minister is to appeal to you that if we are having an exercise, if we are having a simulation where we want to evacuate Bridgetown, we want you to come on board.

“We will work with you and choose a season when all of us can be happy to have the exercise. Let us do it. The life you save may well be your own. Quite often lives are lost because of ill preparation,??? Mr. Brathwaite advised.


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