Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds (right) and President of the Roving Response Team (RRT), Ricardo Patrick, as they signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the DEM’s new headquarters.
DEM encouraging Barbadians to create emergency plans
Barbadians are being encouraged to develop an Emergency Plan, as part of their comprehensive disaster preparedness efforts.
Director of the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Kerry Hinds, gave this critical piece of advice yesterday, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Roving Response Team (RRT), represented by President, Ricardo Patrick. That signing ceremony took place at the DEM’s new headquarters, located in The George Greaves Building, No. 24 Warrens Industrial Park, St. Michael.
“Our focus is comprehensive disaster management and that looks at a multiplicity of hazards. You have the fire hazards, you can have earthquakes, tsunamis, hence the reason why the Department’s programme is a multi-hazard, multi-focus programme, aimed at the various sectors in the public domain,” Hinds pointed out.
“So we encourage persons to develop their emergency plans and that can be for fire, for any eventuality. As Barbadians, you need to know the hazards that can affect you at any point in time, all year round and it is important that you and your family have your plans in place and you generally be prepared and be aware,” Hinds stressed.
She added, “We also encourage persons, once they have prepared themselves, to help within the communities. Hence the reason why we continue to call for persons to join the District Emergency Organisations.”
“At the end of the day, you are the first responders in the community and the only way you can respond accordingly, is if you have the knowledge and know-how to do so. Hence the reason why we have training programmes available to the District Emergency Organisations and hence the reason why we partner with organisations such as the Roving Response Team, to build that capacity nationally,” she added.
In relation to the MOU signed yesterday, the DEM Director indicated that it will allow for a more effective and proactive partnership between the two entities, when it comes to disaster management in Barbados.
“We are signing this document to explore further opportunities, in terms of capacity building, to share expertise and skills in the area of comprehensive disaster management by various means, including training, the exchange of technical expertise and technical co-operation,” she said.
Members of the Roving Response Team often act in the capacity of “first responders” in the community, she said and at times members may be called on in the regional response as well. Noting that the Team comes with a wealth of experience and services, she also noted that both the DEM and the RRT together, will be able to benefit from a stronger partnership.