The ODPM reminds affected citizens how to get help

Tacarigua, Trinidad, December 12th, 2013 (ODPM) - The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, the National Disaster Office and coordinating agency for delivering Comprehensive Disaster Management in Trinidad and Tobago will like to remind the public of the following steps to gain assistance after a hazard impact. This is the most effective way to receive help if life and property are under threat.

  1. Persons who have been affected by any hazard should firstly ensure their personal safety and stay away from the impact zone. Please see more information on hazard specific measures or actions to be taken on the ODPM’s website at www.odpm.gov.tt or call the ODPM office to request informational material.
  2. If you have an emergency please contact the most relevant agency to ensure you will get assistance in a timely manner. If it is a fire or crime related emergency please contact the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service at 990 or the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service at 999 respectively. For ambulance services please contact 811. If it is another type of emergency for e.g. flooding or landslide please contact the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) in your municipal corporation for immediate assistance or 211 if you are in Tobago. All these important numbers can be found on the inside back cover of the Trinidad and Tobago Yellow Pages or on the ODPM website. The public can also contact the ODPM Customer Call Centre at 511 where representatives will record reports and contact the relevant agencies with the information immediately.
  3. Once your report is lodged with the corporation, the Disaster Management Unit (DMU) of the corporation is required to perform a Damage and Needs Assessment to ensure that appropriate relief will be provided. Following a Damage and Needs Assessment the DMU, responsible for coordinating resources at a local level will communicate with various municipal agencies; police, fire etc. depending on the nature of the incident. The Unemployment Relief Agency (URP), The Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) and other contracted providers will also be contacted for assistance with clean up operations. If there is a need for any reconstruction or additional relief, the Ministry of the People and Social Development as well as the Ministry of Community Development will be contacted as soon as possible. The Corporation may also seek additional assistance and resources from additional Corporations nearby through Mayors and Chairmen of the respective Corporation.
  4. If the Corporation is overwhelmed and needs to commandeer national resources to assist with the incident, they will contact the ODPM. The ODPM will coordinate with various ministries and sectors to ensure relief is timely and appropriate.

These steps are a part of the current Standard Operating Procedures and the ODPM urges the public to take these steps when faced with a hazard impact to ensure swift assistance and relief.

For further information please contact:
Dr. Stephen Ramroop,
Chief Executive Officer
868 789 2779/868 354 7119

CDEMA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Resilience Way, Lower Estate, St. Michael Tel: (246) 434-4880, Fax: (246) 271-3660
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