Related articles Andrea weakens in Atlantic Sinckler Speaks: Key Points from… 1 year later: Government‘s performance… That was the rallying call from Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson as he addressed the media this morning at the press conference to launch Hurricane Awareness Month at the Department of Emergency Management, Warrens, St Michael.
Hinkson said Barbadians needed “to ready their individual selves” and their homes because Government could not do it alone.
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This included cleaning the drains and gutters around the home, trimming trees which could cause a problem and removing all old appliances or cars which could be missiles
Hinkson also told householders to stock up on their non-perishables early and remember the supermarkets would need to close so workers could also prepare. He also urged those who could afford, including chattel house owners, to insure their properties
Speaking to the theme Prepare and Be Aware, Hinkson listed the measures his Barbados Labour Party Government has put in place to build hurricane resilience
Increased the national storage capacity. Purchased generators and surge protection equipment. Increased the water storage capacity to five to seven days. In conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, signed several Memoranda of Understanding to help with food security. Twenty-two generators are on order for the schools which are hurricane shelters. Potable water tanks have been installed at the schools. The bathroom facilities have been upgraded at some schools and this will continue at others. Government has acquired fire safety equipment for the schools. Gullies have been cleared to ensure the smooth flow of water and prevent flooding. Abandoned vehicles have been moved so they don’t cause a hazard. Traditionally flood-prone areas like the Bayland and Murphy’s Pasture will be protected as much as they can. Pumps have been ordered. A drainage study was done on Holetown, St James. Seventeen satellite phones have been purchased and distributed. The United States government has also loaned two satellite phones. The Barbados Government Information Service is on hand to provide communication. Hinkson also warned against the damage of fake news on social media. The Japanese Government has donated 11 storage bins to hold equipment and supplies. Ten have been installed in the parishes and one mare is to be installed this month. The number of storage warehouses has been increased. The Hurricane Shelter Booklet has been published and will be distributed. Eleven more category shelters – ten of them in heavily populated St Michael – have been approved and 11 more are being considered. The island’s data has been backed-up in a secure data centre. Other stakeholders from the Department of Emergency Management were also present and fielded questions from the media