The Focus on the Government and Development show on Thursday has highly focused on the hurricane season, hurricane preparedness as well as the disaster management. The guests at the Thursday show were, National Disaster Coordinator, Fitzroy Pascal, Local Government Commissioner and NEPO Emergency Shelter Chairman, Glenroy Toussaint a well as Actg. Senior Meteorological Officer, Ithoma James.
During the program, Ithoma James said that, “This year hurricane season, the forecast is saying that we are expecting a normal season or near normal season. But I’d like to tell people not to focus on forecast. It doesn’t mean that this is for hurricanes that will make the landfall. It pretty much gives us a prediction of what is expected to form in Atlantic ocean. So our focus should be on the preparedness and making it a part of lifestyle. So this year forecasts the hurricane season to be near normal, just means that we do expect the hurricane season to start. And we should be expecting all of the different disasters to come. So we should just be prepared.”
While focusing on the early preparedness, Ithoma James said that, “I wouldn’t even say that you should start getting prepared at the time of hurricane season, that should be going on year around. As we can see that in our past in November six, just before the season ended, we had a trough system that caused immense disarm, devastation in the southeast and east. So preparedness should not be something that we think of for the hurricane season but even prior to that and making it part of our lifestyle.”
He further added that, “but this season, we also have a counteracting force, which is the development of the El Nino which could counteract that.”
At the same time, National Disaster Coordinator, Fitzroy Pascal, while mentioning about the NEPO, said that, “NEPO is an acromyn for the National Emergency Planning Organization. Disaster management in the Dominica doesn’t rely solely on the ODM, the office of Disaster Management. NEPO is body of actors, stakeholders first responders and it is headed by the Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit as its chairman. we have also added the fire and the police, fire for the search and rescue and the police for security.”
He said that, “We are following the National Disaster Plan and our strategy is to educating people about it. We are also doing sessions with the local people in the communities.”
“On the public level, we have ensured that there is redundancy in the communication. We have worked with the police in terms of satellite and radio communication, said NDC Pascal.