Director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, Evan Thompson, says that although the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season has officially ended, Jamaicans should always be in a state of readiness and preparedness to deal with weather events.
He said this is crucial, as climate change has resulted in adverse weather conditions occurring even outside of the hurricane season, which traditionally runs from June 1 to November 30.
He implored Jamaicans not to let down their guard even though the island has not been impacted by a hurricane in several years.
“We have to be alert and responsible all the time, whether or not we feel that the risk or threat is imminent… . When we go past a difficult hurricane season and when we move now into the next six months, our posture needs to be that we are going to always prepare ourselves,” Mr. Thompson said.
He was speaking at a ceremony to mark the closing out of the 2019 hurricane season at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Heroes Circle offices in Kingston on December 3.
Permanent Secretary, Colette Roberts-Risden, said the Ministry plays a critical role in the national disaster response mechanism, providing support for families affected by natural and man-made events.
She noted that assistance is undertaken through the rehabilitation programme of the Ministry, which has the mandate of aiding the most vulnerable in society by delivering quick response in emergency situations.
This is usually done through emergency grants, food items, sanitation support, among other things.
The closing-out ceremony, held under the theme ‘It’s a Disaster Affair: A Strategy to Avoid Tragedy’, was geared towards sensitisation and dissemination of information related to disasters.