With much of government’s spending power restricted for the foreseeable future, Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson is pleading with Barbadians to take critical hurricane preparedness measures into their own hands.
He was addressing congregants at the St Silas Anglican Church as numerous stakeholders in emergency management including the Barbados Defence Force (BDF), Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) observed the start of this year’s hurricane season.
Hinkson said government had taken numerous steps, which included increasing national food and water storage capacity and secured alternative forms of energy by purchasing 90 generators over the last year to help prepare the country. He, however, cautioned this would not be enough to mitigate the many risks associated with hurricanes.
Under the theme, Prepare and Be Aware, the country’s disaster relief agencies have stepped up preparedness efforts for the hurricane season, which began on June 1. During his remarks, the MP was extremely critical of people who litter indiscriminately and others who allow materials to lie around their homes, which could become missiles during a hurricane.
“Clear up the gutters outside your house and the drains, don’t wait on government, because we have limited resources,” urged the Home Affairs Minister. He also listed a number of measures Barbadians ought to take in preparation for the season.
“Make sure the trees in front of your house are not posing a danger in terms of telephone and electrical lines. It is your duty to ensure that your windows and doors are secure, make sure that you have a safe room in your house. Insure your houses. Many of us take too many risks and anytime there is a fire you read in the paper that the properties are uninsured. Why should we take this risk when it takes as little as $300 per year to insure your homes? It’s not a risk worth taking in this day and age,” he said. (KS)