All new schools constructed in Barbados will have a purpose-built aspect to allow them to be used as shelters.

Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, made this disclosure yesterday during an update on Barbados??? progress following the passage of Tropical Storm Chantal.

???An ideal situation would be to have more purpose-built buildings. What you should have noted is that all our new schools are having a purpose-built facility within them. The Blackman and Gollop [School] is a good example. That has an excellent self-contained area with a room that can hold [over] 100 [people], with toilet facilities all there,??? he said.

Mr. Brathwaite, also Attorney General, added that facilities presently used as hurricane shelters were constantly reviewed. ???If [we] say it is a category one shelter, we want to ensure it is a category one. The fact that we down-graded a few shelters???it means we are doing our job. We don???t want to lull people into a false sense of security,??? he pointed out.

He added that while land was acquired at Lears, St. George for the construction of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) that could house personnel for between two to three days, the resources were not there to do so.

In the interim, if the Department of Emergency Management is not available, there are plans to establish the EOC from the District ???A??? Police Station.

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