As the island’s eleven parishes vie for ‘best parish’ accolades in the Community Independence Celebrations with a range of community service projects, the Parish Independence Committee (PIC) for St Michael has chosen to prepare the nation’s most populous parish for natural disasters.
The inner-city community of Carrington Village now joins Brittons Hill in having a Disaster Preparedness Community Walk-Through, as the St. Michael PIC, teamed up with the St. Michael South Central District Emergency Organization (DEO) and the Boy Scouts Association.
During the walk-through, disaster preparedness literature on disaster preparedness was distributed and residents were asked to identify elderly or disabled people, likely flood-prone areas and threatening trees. This local information was noted along with contact information to be delivered to the authorities.
The Pine is next on the list of communities in line for this exercise in assessing area hazards and vulnerability with another community disaster preparedness walk-through on Saturday.
The exercise involved the boy scouts as it is a requirement for gaining their Disaster Preparedness badge. The badge was developed as part of the St. Michael parish project, Project S.O.S – Saving Our Selves. The PIC said it is hoping that scouts will qualify for the badge by next month, the unofficial end of hurricane season.
The PIC is also planning to further develop the disaster preparedness badge system to include equivalent badges for the Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts. Also, more in-depth disaster preparedness requirements for the Chief Scout’s Award and the Queen’s Scout Award will be developed, the PIC said in a statement.
The idea is gaining support among St. Michael’s district emergency organisations. The St Michael South Central DEO has agreed to continue assisting the Boy Scouts in attaining their Disaster Preparedness badge. Other St. Michael District Emergency Organizations including the St. Michael South East DEO and St. Michael South DEO have also indicated an interest in partnering with the St. Michael PIC.
During the month of September, the committee will continue its efforts by hosting a number of disaster preparedness awareness related activities.
On Wednesday, there will be a planning meeting of the community partnership with the St. Michael South DEO at The St. Michael School.
The PIC will host an event to mark Disaster Preparedness Awareness Day – in Jubilee Gardens, The City, on Saturday, September 15.
Then the Parish Independence Committee returns to the Pine for a community clean-up on Saturday, September 22 – the 63rd anniversary of the passage of the island’s last great cyclone, Hurricane Janet. That event will be held in collaboration with the St. Michael South East DEO and the Barbados Red Cross Society.
The community Independence celebrations is a programme of community activities intended to reinforce community self-help while stimulating community and national pride.
The community projects are organized by the Parish Independence Committees in partnership with community-based organizations and are fronted by Parish Ambassadors, talented young people who perform dual roles of community organizers and talented entertainers for the climax show in the month of Independence celebrations, November.