Jamaica: Hurricane Emily - News release #3

The Meteorological Service has advised The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), that the island is currently under a Hurricane Warning. This means that conditions will begin to deteriorate rapidly as Tropical Storm Dennis begins to move closer towards the island. Persons living in flood prone, low lying and coastal areas are being asked to make arrangements to stay with relatives and friends or move to the shelter closest to you.
Once tropical storm force winds begin any outdoor activity will be dangerous. Persons are therefore asked to be on full alert and ensure that all preparations are completed today. All business houses should activate their disaster plans and ensure that all activities to ensure preparedness are complete.

There have been extensive lightening storms and these are likely to continue. Thunder and lightening are expected, therefore the public is being advised to follow the precautions for lightening: Do not be the tallest object in an open area. Get well away from hilltops and trees. Never take shelter under a tree.

You can avoid lightning. If you hear a storm coming on, do not waste time. Immediately move away from a high place. Do not wait for the actual storm before you head for shelter. For additional information please check the ODPEM's website.

The ODPEM is advising the public to take the following precautions:

- See that galvanized sheeting on your roofs, outbuildings and fences are securely fastened. Ensure that you have enough boards, nails, rope etc. on hand to batten down your property.

- Put together an emergency supplies kit with enough items to last a few days. Make sure to include tinned food, water, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit and family medication.

- If your home is threatened by flooding, be ready to evacuate before evacuation routes are cut off. Turn off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances before evacuating.

- Trim trees and secure loose objects which could become missiles during the strong winds.

- All business houses should prepare their organizations and activate their disaster plans.

The ODPEM continues to monitor the situation. For further information the public may call the ODPEM at 928-5111-4 or check the website at www.odpem.org.jm.