As the 2016 Hurricane Season begins, National Security Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, has called for Dominicans to be their “neighbours’ keepers,” in an effort to ensure citizens’ safety in the event of a disaster.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Blackmoore urged people to prepare adequately in the event that any weather system strikes the island, or comes dangerously close.
“Shelters are provided for those persons who need them, and in areas where there are no shelters, let us be our neighbours’ keepers, by opening up our homes to them,” he said. “This is a key area of preparedness, as we would want everyone to be in a safe place during the passage of a hurricane or storm event.”
He asked that community groups and village councils to work closely with our community residents, to ensure that all are prepared and safe at all times during the season.
The Minister added that special attention should be paid to “more vulnerable groups, like the elderly, women, children, sick, and the physically and mentally challenged.”
Residents were encouraged to promote safety in their communities by cutting down dangerous trees which may pose dangers to the public, and by clearing waterways—to include ravines and drains—in order to avoid flash flooding.
The Office of Disaster Management is observing this week as Disaster Management Week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast that the 2016 Hurrican Season will be a “near average” season.
NOAA said there is a 45 percent chance that there will be a near-normal season, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season, with predictions of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher).