Disaster mitigation a top priority for flood-prone areas of Savanna-la-Mar

Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness in Westmoreland, Hilma Tate, speaking at a flood simulation exercise in the town of Savanna-la-Mar on Tuesday (January 7). (Photo: Rochelle Clayton, JIS)

Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness in Westmoreland, Hilma Tate, says Community Disaster Plans are being prepared for several flood-prone areas in Savanna-la-Mar.

She explained that the plans are being drafted out of a need to improve disaster risk management in the town, particularly at Hudson Street, Cooke Street, and Llandilo.

Tate further indicated that the plans will outline the history of the areas as well as the resources needed at the community level to ensure quick response in the event of flooding, fire, earthquake, hurricane and more.

“It is going to look at the different phases and stages of a disaster… before, during and after; what is needed to be done before as a community, what they need to do during and what they need to do after,” Tate told JIS News.

“As a municipal corporation, we can only receive information… the communities themselves have to learn how to be resilient enough to bounce back quickly. So, they must know what they are doing,” she added.

Tate noted that the parish has a disaster plan, which is revised yearly, and the contact list for the parish is regularly updated.

She said that the parish and community disaster plans seek to ensure that individuals are aware of the course of action to be taken during a catastrophe.

Aerial imagery of Savanna-la-Mar (Photo: David Oppenheimer, Flickr)

“Because of climate change, different events can happen from time to time and unexpectedly, and so [residents] need to be prepared for these events and be able to keep themselves and their families safe. We need to be prepared,” she stressed.

On Tuesday (January 7), the Westmoreland Municipal Cooperation conducted a flood simulation exercise involving Hudson Street, Cooke Street and Llandilo.

The exercise was aimed at preparing residents to respond to flooding and other natural disasters.

The initiative forms part of the Climate Change Adaptation and Risk Reduction Technology and Strategies to Improve Community Resilience (CARTS) Project.

— JIS.