Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, speaking at the recent launch of the 2022 Hurricane Awareness Month activities. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Individuals, families and communities are the most critical factors in building national resilience to a disaster.

And, Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, is urging all residents at the various levels of society to take responsibility for their own personal preparedness efforts ahead of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane season.

“While you rely on the national entities to play their part in ensuring public safety, you the public have a role to play in ensuring that as individuals, families and communities, you take care of your personal preparedness.

“At the end of the day, emergency management, national preparedness, national resilience building is really everyone’s business,” she said.

Ms. Hinds made these comments during the official launch of the 2022 Hurricane Awareness Month activities under the theme: Be Storm Ready.

However, she noted that while Government was leading the charge in its preparedness efforts, the reality was the resources and efforts of one agency was insufficient to manage a national emergency.

“We have sought to foster new relationships and collaborations or reengage and recommit to existing partnerships.  This is a part of our thrust to expand preparedness and response partnerships,” Ms. Hinds outlined.

One such partnership being forged is that between Government and President of the Barbados Alliance to End Homelessness, Kemar Saffrey, who said the organisation was pleased to be working with Government to provide shelter for the homeless during the storm.  “The shelter stands ready, and our team stands ready to assist,” he said.  

Mr. Saffrey said his organisation worked with DEM to ensure that certain things were in place to ensure that they were able to run the shelter effectively during a disaster.

He noted that once a warning was issued by the Barbados Meteorological Services, the shelter would open for 24 hours to provide a safe haven for the homeless during a disaster.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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