STATEMENT FROM THE ODM
November 30th marks the official end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. This year, three tropical storms posed a possible threat to Dominica, the first, Beryl in July followed by Isaac and Kirk in the usually busy month of September which marks the peak of the hurricane season.
The country was spared any major impact from these systems.
The positive outcome of these close calls was that they provided opportunities to exercise the disaster preparedness and response mechanism of the country. This exercising activity is a necessary component in testing and maintaining the alertness and level of readiness of the public and private sectors as well as the general public.
For many, the end of the hurricane season may signal a time to breathe a sigh of relief. However, as we have experienced several times and quite recently in the month of November, trough systems can create significant impact across the island both in and outside the official season.
As such, the ODM reminds the public to focus on the hazards that affect the country and in particular your community such as flooding, landslides and rock falls and that we must not wait for the start of the next hurricane season to prepare.
Efforts to keep water ways near homes and businesses clear and trim overhanging branches should be ongoing activities. All should visit their emergency supply kit periodically and ensure items are still usable and try to have items needed to reinforce homes on-hand early.
These small acts will help to reduce the level of stress some may face when the island is under threat from severe weather. As the rehabilitation process continues following the devastation by Maria in 2017. All should adhere to proper building codes. This is one way to contribute to building resilience as we move forward.
Disaster management requires the input of all to be effective. Therefore, all are advised to take steps to educate and empower themselves to be better able to protect you, your family and to lend a helping hand to other vulnerable people in your community.
Persons may contact the ODM to access information on how to take part in regular training activities geared at building the local disaster management network.
The ODM is using this opportunity to introduce to the public the “Weather Alert App” developed specifically for Dominica. This App provides alert for all impending hazards for Dominica and is another step towards making information readily available to residents.
The ODM is also reminding the public to use social media responsibly during times of emergency or disaster events and to take steps to verify information accessed via social media and make efforts to obtain information from those entrusted with such responsibility