Residents across Barbados are being encouraged to check on the stability of their homes and make alternative arrangements for shelter, if necessary, as the island continues to prepare for the approach of Tropical Storm (TS) Bret.
Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, is appealing to those whose homes are unlikely to withstand tropical storm conditions, to make plans now to stay with family or friends first, or a hurricane shelter as a last resort.
“Don’t wait until the last minute,” she pleaded.
Hinds also encouraged persons to check on elderly relatives and neighbours, and be each other’s keeper during the system’s passage.
“Pack a go-bag with a change of clothes, important documents such as bank papers for your homes, insurance documents, passports and birth certificates, all medication and a supply of food for yourselves and your families,” Hinds said.
The DEM Director disclosed that the emergency services and Government agencies met on Tuesday, June 20, to assess the situation and finalise plans ahead of the storm’s impact, and urged the public to do the same.
She is also encouraging persons to remove loose objects from around their homes, secure garbage cans, and remove plant pots to avoid them becoming missiles.
She also cautioned people against stocking their freezers with frozen items at this time, and reminded them that they should focus on canned or non-perishable food items.
“Make sure that you store water and have your torch lights handy,” she said, while underscoring the importance of listening for updates throughout the day.
Residents may download the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) app on their Android and Apple devices to stay abreast of the updates. Alternatively, they may also download the BMS app – BMS Insight – to receive updates on systems likely to affect the island. This app is only available for Android devices at this time.
In addition, persons may also find the list of emergency shelters on the DEM’s website at www.dem.gov.bb or the Barbados Government Information Service website at www.gisbarbados.gov.bb.
Ms. Hinds stressed that in the event of an emergency, residents should contact the Barbados Police Service at 211; the Barbados Fire Service at 311 and the Barbados Ambulance Service at 511., in the event of an emergency.
To report in the wake of an event, they may contact the DEM at 438-7575, so a record of the report could be made and the relevant response agencies activated to provide assistance, if necessary. (BGIS)