Building national capacity to be proactive against earthquake and tsunami hazards is high on the agenda for officials in Barbados.
Deputy Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Kerry Hinds, made this assertion today as she addressed the opening of a Tsunami Smart Teacher Training seminar at the Barbados Community College.
Speaking to primary school principals and teachers from schools to the north of the island, Ms. Hinds said such workshops were designed to build awareness of earthquakes and tsunami hazards, and could be seen to build capacity on a wider scale.
To do so, she stated, public relations would play a key role in educating people on what to do during an earthquake or tsunami in order to save lives and property.??
Ms. Hinds, who is also co-chair of the Technical Standing Committee on Coastal Hazards, added that today???s workshop signaled the continuation of commitments made to raise the education sector???s knowledge to the hazards, and to give teachers the tools which they need to prepare their students.
Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, noted that it was important to have an understanding of tsunamis and the devastation which they brought. ???It is important to have training seminars and tsunami drills so you would know what to do, should one occur,??? he said.
Mr. King stressed that preparing schools to deal with such disasters was a critical part of the process, as they were responsible for a number of young charges. ???You cannot wait until there is an impact to say ???go to higher ground???. You need to practise it in the event that there is a likely impact,??? he said.
He urged teachers and principals present to gather as much information as they could and put it into practice when they returned to school.