COVID-19 influences KSAMC hurricane preparations


COVID-19 influences KSAMC hurricane preparations

Thursday, May 21, 2020

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THE Disaster Committee of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is reporting that it is prepared for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season despite changes to its operations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Disaster Committee is collaborating with various response agencies to plan for and handle any eventuality that may arise.

The body is also working closely with the Shelter, Health and Welfare Subcommittee, to ensure that an updated list of shelters is finalised and that each facility is adequately prepared for the hurricane season.

Inspection of shelters has already taken place an activity which required a larger team this year due to the pandemic.

“We have amended the shelter list this year in keeping with COVID-19 guidelines,” disaster preparedness coordinator for the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, Terry Forrester, told JIS News.

She noted that an isolation area has been added to the shelter list.

“We considered that if someone comes into a shelter and they are displaying signs of COVID-19, how could we isolate these persons from the general populace of the shelter. We would also adjust the shelter capacity in keeping with social distancing. That is something being discussed at the Shelter, Health and Welfare Subcommittee for this season,” Forrester said.

The committee also has plans to equip shelter managers with items such as gloves, masks, and sanitisers.

As it relates to the KSAMC's Shelter Managers Conference, usually held in May, Forrester said, “We are exploring options as to how we can do a virtual conference to keep them abreast of what is expected of the season.”

“For training, we are looking to see if some of this can be done virtually or we may very well have to use smaller numbers, which will result in an increase in the number of training sessions,” she noted further.

The disaster preparedness coordinator said the committee continues to work to strengthen areas in response to COVID-19.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

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