Disaster preparedness in Jamaica: Are we becoming complacent?

Petchary's Blog

We are just two weeks away from the official start of the 2022 Hurricane Season (June 1). I have noted a few news items this month (which is Hurricane Preparedness Month in the U.S., but regrettably not in Jamaica) – as follows:

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the primary Government agency responsible, has mold (very visible) right through its head office. Does everyone have to move out? This was first reported two years ago, according to TVJ. ODPEM’s management and the relevant Minister of Local Government that is responsible for this agency did not respond to calls. Has ODPEM been sidelined? Why is it so quiet? Six years ago, the former head of the agency, Dr. Barbara Carby, suggested that it had been sidelined as Hurricane Matthew approached, and largely useless information had been dished out by politicians. Has anything changed? Who is in charge of…

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