T&T issues Survival Kits for residents

| June 28, 2013

RECOGNISING that this part of Trinidad, is most vulnerable to devastating floods, landslides and other natural phenomena associated with the hurricane season, officials from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) last month handed out flood survival packages and first aid kits to residents of Diego Martin.

Hundreds of volunteers gathered outside the Diego Martin Regional Corporation’s compound at Orchid Drive, Petit Valley to assist the ODPM in its distribution of the kits. “We are building resilience and a culture of resilience into the people. It is predicted that quite a lot of water will come down and we anticipate there will be landslides.

 Officials of the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) give a disaster survival kit to an elderly resident yesterday during a distribution drive in Diego Martin aimed at equipping residents with basic disaster survival items.  Author: RATTAN JADOO

Officials of the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) give a disaster survival kit to an elderly resident yesterday during a distribution drive in Diego Martin aimed at equipping residents with basic disaster survival items.
Author: RATTAN JADOO

“We are going to more than 400 of the homes that were affected in the area. We are going to the areas that were affected last year to help them become more prepared with the onset of this year’s rainy season,” said Stephen Ramroop, chief executive officer of the ODPM.

The ODPM distributed inflatable bags which would block water from entering homes. These bags are similar to sand bags but have a special crystal inside that expands when it is soaked in water. They also distributed first aid kits and flyers to the residents. The volunteers surveyed the residents’ homes to assess just how prepared residents are for the potential of flooding.

Ramroop said the ODPM has six containers that are stocked with materials in case of a disaster. The containers assist the first recorders. They contain mattresses, hampers, pampers, blankets, food, water, equipment like barrels, shovels, power hoses, galvanise and tarpaulin. These containers are located around the country in Port-of-Spain, Mayaro, Point Fortin, Point Lisas, Sangre Grande and Tobago.

“We have taken no chances. If there is an impact in an area like this (Diego Martin), we can bring the six containers. Police will be part of our response working with us as we go into the community. It would take the police about an hour and a half to escort the containers to bring relief,” he said.

The first place Ramroop visited was Chuma Monka Avenue. One of the homes Ramroop delivered the kits to was the CH&DD Sanctuary Home for the Elderly. This home has 14 occupants, one of whom is an amputee.

Diego Martin Regional Coporation
Ramroop said the ODPM’s main concern centres around persons who are differently abled because they are the most vulnerable in a disaster. He said the ODPM would take special note of that home since if something should happen in that area, the home for the elderly would be the first place to be evacuated.

Avelon Owusa, the head nurse of the home, said she was very grateful for the supplies the ODPM distributed. Though the Home was not in Chuma Monka Avenue when the flooding took place last year, she said there would have been “chaos” if the devastating flood hit their building.

She said the kits will help them and now that they have received assistance from the ODPM, they are going to make a disaster plan in case a flood happens. In the coming weeks, the ODPM will be conducting similar distribution programmes in Sangre Grande, Sans Souci, Mayaro and San Juan.

Article form: Trinidad and Tobago News Today

By Rachael Espinet

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Category: Trinidad News

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