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Contingency plans in place for celebrations as Tropical Storm Ernesto moves closer
Following an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Committee,Prime Minister Simpson Miller has instructed that the necessary contingency plans for the country's major Independence events should be put in place, immediately.
This is in light of advisories issued by the Meteorological Service with respect to the approaching Tropical Storm, Ernesto. On Saturday the Met Service upgraded the Tropical Storm Watch to a Tropical Storm Warning. Noting that the country must be prepared for any eventuality, Mrs. Simpson- Miller said if deemed necessary, the contingency plans for events such as the Jamaica 50 Village and the Denbigh Agricultural Show, will be fully activated at short notice, given the need to ensure public safety.
While calling on Jamaicans to make preparations for the safety of their families and property, the Prime Minister urged special attention for vulnerable persons including children, the sick, persons with disabilities and the elderly,
Meanwhile, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says in light of the Tropical Storm Warning issued by the Met Service, it is continuing the implementation of its contingency plan.
Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, says all primary response agencies have been advised to activate their contingency plans.
He said local communities and parish disaster committees will be following suit.
Mr. Jackson gave further details with respect to plans for southern parishes and Jamaica 50 activities.
“We are making sure that the priority shelters, particularly on the south coast are activated, we have also met with and had discussions with the Secretariat currently managing the Jamaica 50 celebrations and we have established contingency arrangements in the event that we have to phase these activities down….” He said.
And with Tropical Storm Ernesto posing a potential threat to southern parishes in particular, Chairman of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Mayor Everton Fisher, says the parish is in a state of readiness.
Following an emergency meeting of the St. Elizabeth Parish Disaster Preparedness Committee, Mayor Fisher said all the response agencies in the parish have indicated their readiness.
He said shelter mangers have been placed on alert and the Superintendent of Roads and Works will be examining critical drains to ensure that they are cleaned. Mayor Fisher also stated that the National Works Agency will be examining recently-cleaned drains.
He is cautioning residents to take the necessary action to ensure the safety of their families.