Acting Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) Kerry Hinds has admitted authorities fell short in providing for homeless people during the passage of Tropical Storm Matthew.
President of the Barbados Vagrants and Homeless Society (BVHS) Kemar Saffrey had expressed outrage that the homeless were forced to brave the elements and no one in authority seemed to care.
Hinds said there was consideration for vulnerable persons during times of disaster but admitted more needs to be done.
“There are also other groups that we also have to consider as we do our contingency and preparedness plans,” she said during a press conference at her office this morning.
“We would have to sit down with the society and engage, because obviously as we look at the various groups there are different strategies of engagement . . . .
“It is a dynamic process and one that we would really need to look at and investigate so that at the end of the day, we have the best solution for it,” Hinds added.
Meantime, the acting DEM director said she was pleased with the level of stakeholder partnership and collaboration in the lead-up to and during the storm.
She noted that this was important, citing the need for all stakeholders to know their roles and responsibilities and how various decisions impacted on them, on their various agencies, and on the public as a whole.
“As we go forward, it is hoped that we continue in not only the . . . traditional partnerships that we have but look at the non-traditional stakeholders,” Hinds said.
“It was very good to see the Barbados Chamber of Commerce coming in and being a very valued partner in this whole process. It worked well and we hope that we can continue on this path.”