Barbadians are being urged to insure their homes and to plan for the likelihood of disasters with an above-average hurricane season promised. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
The appeal came on Saturday during the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) Annual Safety and Health Awareness Day from members of the Barbados Fire Service, The Department of Emergency Organisation, Cariguard, and representatives of Cooperator’s General Insurance.
The Safety And Health Awareness Day was held for members in the community and across the parish on the Deacon’s Hard Court in St Michael.
Chairperson of the St Michael North-West Department of Emergency Organisation Doriel Gill-Skinner explained why Barbadians need to do more to beef up the protection of their homes.
“I’m saying this because we’re not doing enough to insure our homes and as the fire service has said because of the increase of fires a lot of people do not have a fire extinguisher in their homes or smoke alarms and I am appealing to everyone to get on board. This is our second year so listen out for us next year,” she told Barbados TODAY.
Cooperator’s General Insurance Human Resources and Marketing Manager Cheryl Forde said that she was very happy that members of the community came out to benefit from the exercise.
“People don’t look at the fact that preventative measures to stop fires are so important — we’ve had an increase in fires recently and we want to encourage people to insure their homes from not only hurricanes but in the case of fires.”
Forde added that owners of wooden houses should also look into having their homes insured. “Some people may say my house is not a wall, I can’t get it done but you can also have your timber homes insured as well once the flooring is solid and is sealed,” she said.
Business Development and Marketing Officer with Cooperator’s General Insurance Sabrina Howard reported that she found more people were coming forward for insurance but also made the point that people waited until the last minute to do so, something they should not do.
“We find that persons wait until the last minute when a storm is approaching to rush to get insurance but we try to encourage persons all year round to get insured. It’s not only for a fire or storm but matters such as floods — your contents could be damaged and you wouldn’t have to go and look for the money to replace what may be damaged the insurance would take care of that,” she said
Fire Officer 370 with the Barbados Fire Service and fire instructor Reniko Harte also made an appeal for locals to pay more attention to their day-to-day efforts in order to prevent fires.
“We are appealing to Barbadians to be more cautious, do the things that you know you’re supposed to do when you’re leaving home. Make sure you unplug all of the appliances. Don’t play with matches — when it comes to leaving home ensure you have a go bag so that if you have to leave home you have your passports and documents-have an evacuation plan ready,” he added.
Also on hand was Phlebotomist of Tender Sticks Mobile Phlebotomy Shondelle Scott who explained that she used the day to make blood pressure and blood sugar checks to those who came out to the awareness day.
Members of the Barbados Police Force were also present and representatives of Cariguard were also present. (MR)