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Tortola, British Virgin Islands, July 2, 2008, (DDM) – The Department of Disaster Management, in conjunction with Consultant Leonard R. Mobley, is in the process of revising the National Disaster Management Plan. This is a multi-hazard plan that outlines procedures that should be followed in the event of a hazard impact. The purpose of the Plan is to ensure that the Territory is equipped to effectively and efficiently manage hazard impacts through the coordination of an effective disaster response.

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.

Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/slunemo/message/692

June 16, 2008 – Thursday marks 60 years since the 1948 Castries Fire devoured 75% of Castries and rendered 2,000 homeless.

The fire alarm sounded shortly after 8:00 p.m. and by 8:30 p.m. the fire was out of control; so that for full 10-hours the fire spreading wherever the wind listed. After the first half-hour, hardly less than 4 to 6 buildings were ablaze at the same time and very often traveling in different directions. Even if there was water, there would not have been enough equipment to fight a fire of such magnitude. Of course with water and proper equipment the fire could not have progressed so rapidly and spread so widely. Nevertheless, let no one think for a moment that the fire was not fought, for if it were not fought the fire could not have been checked by the St Joseph's Convent on Micoud Street and at 59 St Louis Street and were it not checked at these points, perhaps not a house would have been left standing in the town.

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