Mon | Oct 21, 2019

Not enough storage for emergency supplies in Hanover

Published:Tuesday | June 25, 2019 | 12:07 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

With the 2019 hurricane season, which spans June to November, three weeks old, the authorities in Hanover are still working frantically to get the parish prepared for any impending hazard.

The information was disclosed at a recent meeting of the Disaster Preparedness, Hazard Mitigation and Safety Committee of the Hanover Municipal Corporation by Hanover’s parish disaster coordinator, Keniesha Stennett-Dunbar.

“The shelters are being inspected, and as per usual, it is being done by a collaborative team, including members from the fire brigade, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the Ministry of Health,” said Stennett-Dunbar.

She explained that approximately 45 of a designated 55 shelters across the parish had been inspected and approved. Access and availability were cited as the reasons for the non-inspection of the remaining 10 facilities.

“Training for shelter managers and members of the Emergency Operating Centre for the parish is ongoing, and we are looking at the month of July as the deadline for the final training exercises,” Stennett-Dunbar said.

Unsafe stemporary storage

The disaster coordinator said that the area of greatest concern at this time is inadequate space for emergency supplies as the temporary storage space on the grounds of the Hanover Infirmary has been taken over by pigeons, which has made the area unhealthy and unsafe.

“We presently use a building at the infirmary, however, it is contaminated as pigeons have taken over the area, and it is causing a health issue as there is a lot of pigeon mess along with dead pigeons in that area, so we are trying to secure another building,” she said.

Stennett-Dunbar said that another building has been identified on the same compound, but needs to be refurbished.

“We want the work done before June 25 as we are expecting a shipment of emergency supplies for the parish from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management in Kingston,” the disaster coordinator said.