Barbadians are being urged to secure their homes and make them the primary hub of safety during a disaster.
In its message to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction, recognised today, Friday, October 13, the Department of Emergency Management, has joined with the internationally acknowledged slogan of Home Safe Home.
“That is the home should be able to prevent the displacement of families and ultimately the loss of lives in the event of a disaster,” the statement said.
Damaged homes, businesses and offices are no match for the resilience and determination of residents living in Portsmouth, a town on the northwest coast of Dominica.
They have already begun to pick up the pieces after the category five-Hurricane Maria slammed into the island on September 18.
The residents have been using their personal vehicles to free the roadways, clogged with debris left behind by the hurricane, while at least one other ensured that his community was well lit at night through the use of his generator.
Arrangements are being made to have doctors and nurses from Barbados travel to Dominica to provide much-needed assistance.
This is according to Dr. Brian Charles, who is in Dominica to provide primary assessments for the health care services and the hospital there, and to work alongside the Barbadian military personnel. Dominica remains in a state of emergency after it was devastated by a category five Hurricane Maria on September 18.
As the first Barbados Coast Guard vessel arrived in Dominica this morning, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart pledged Barbados’ commitment to assisting the hurricane-ravaged island in its recovery efforts.
The Prime Minister, who has responsibility for Defence and Security, said that Barbados would continue to send vessels with supplies and personnel to the island for as long as was necessary.
Mr. Stuart extended condolences to the Government and people of Dominica in respect of the loss of life.
The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) is deploying a contingent to assist the Commonwealth of Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
This disclosure has come from the BDF’s Public Relations Officer, Captain Maria Moore, who said humanitarian assistance and disaster relief would be provided to the island, which was extensively damaged following the passage of the category five hurricane on Monday night.
The BDF contingent is expected to be deployed within the next 12 hours aboard the HMBS Leonard C. Banfield.