BVI, Department of Disaster Management prepares emergency shelters for the hurricane season

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, June 26, 2008, (DDM) – As a part of the preparations for the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season the DDM has completed inspections and undertaken retrofitting works on emergency shelters within the Territory. In 1999 the DDM undertook an assessment of all the emergency shelters and coming out of the assessment the DDM was provided with a list of retrofitting works that are to be completed on all of the shelters. “Each year we select shelters based on priority needs to complete retrofitting works”, stated Community Preparedness Manager, Mrs. Sheniah Armstrong-Davies. “To date 15 shelters have been retrofitted at a cost of $300 thousand dollars”. “For the period 2007-2008 the Jost Van Dyke Primary School, Long Trench Community Center, and the Emile Dunlop Emergency Shelter in Anegada were retrofitted”, Mrs. Davies went on to say. She further stated that retrofitting works are important because the buildings must be structurally sound and able to withstand the impact of the various hazards to which the BVI are vulnerable to.

A shelter is a structurally sound building that is strong and capable of providing refuge during and after a hazard occurrence. According to the 2008 Emergency Shelter List, there are a total of 34 shelters located within the BVI.

Copies of the shelter list are available at the Department of Disaster Management.

The DDM partners with the Departments of Environmental Health and Public Works each year to have public health inspections and structural assessments completed on each shelter.

Shelters are categorized as Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary. According to Community Preparedness Manager, “primary shelters are outfitted with showers, kitchen facilities, generator powered electricity and shelter kits”.

The shelter kits contain power tools, raingear and flashlights for shelter managers, cleaning products and personal hygiene items for shelterees.

The Department of Disaster Management will be conducting a Shelter Management Workshop on 28th June 2008. The course will be held at the DDM from 9:00am-3:00pm. The purpose of the course is to offer training to persons in shelter management and to ensure that shelter managers are adequately trained to effectively operate within the confines of the National Disaster Management Plan. Interested persons are encouraged to contact Mrs. Davies to register for the shelter management workshop at 468-4200.

Contact:

Natasha Lettsome
Information Training Manager
Department of Disaster Management
Telephone: 468-4200
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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