The Ministry of Home Affairs is reminding Barbadians that they all have an important role to play in disaster management.
While giving remarks at a special church service to mark the start of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, put on by St Joseph Parish Church and St Aidan’s Anglican Church, Minister Wilfred Abrahams told the congregation that with the season upon us, everyone must do their part to ensure their households and neighbours are prepared.
“All of us have a part to play in the preparedness and the recovery and the responses after the system … We must ensure that we are ready to face any adversity that comes our way. It only takes one system to make landfall and entirely disrupt our society and potentially cripple our economy,” he said.
“We have to be prepared and ready as individuals, as a congregation, as families, as a community and as a country to weather any storm that may come our way.”
The minister added that even though scientists forecast a normal hurricane season this year, it is still important to reflect on what occurred in the past.
Speaking about the climatic events two years ago, he said: “2021 was an unprecedented year for us as a nation. We experienced ash fall, we experienced Hurricane Elsa and we had a freak storm … I think it’s important for us to reflect on how we adapted as a society and as people in the face of such adversity.
“So, how can we effectively reduce our vulnerability to hazards that impact us? How can we become prepared in every facet of our lives to ensure that we are indeed resilient individuals, resilient families, resilient institutions, resilient congregations, resilient communities and a resilient nation? … We all must play our part. I challenge you to ponder on how you as a church family can contribute to the national preparedness efforts.”
Abrahams said citizens could help by ensuring their neighbours have sufficient supplies, offering shelter to someone in need or assisting District Emergency Organisations (DEO) in the clean up after a system.
During the service, held at St Aidan’s Anglican Church in Bathsheba, St Joseph, Reverend Jilian Crawford told members of the DEO in the audience not to get discouraged by those who did not heed disaster messages.
Crawford said it was hard to change the mindset of people stuck in their ways but reminded the emergency volunteers of their mission’s purpose.
“Be patient and enduring,” she advised them. (SZB)