Saturday, July 13, 2024

NEMO shares 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Emergency Family Plan

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The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has released preparedness guidelines for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season. With an above-normal season predicted, NEMO is encouraging all Belizeans to take the necessary precautions ahead of time to safeguard their family, pets, and assets. According to NEMO, a Family Emergency Plan can save lives during a storm and prevent unnecessary losses.

“It is important to discuss the likely hazards and dangers that can affect your family and home. Ask yourself, ‘Is your home really safe?’ When NEMO declares Phase 1 (Preliminary – One Red Flag), put your Family Plan into action. Immediately listen to your radio and television, especially on holidays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays,” says NEMO.

Some of the Family Emergency Plan guidelines include informing all family members what is happening, where to go, and when it is safe to return home. Purchase sufficient water and nonperishable food items; secure important documents and take pictures of valuables; secure windows and doors; and clear the home of any loose objects that can become dangerous during storm winds. A template of NEMO’s Emergency Family Plan can be downloaded at http://site.nemo.org.bz/emergency-family-plan-2/.

NEMO also encourages residents with pets to create a Pet Protection Plan, as hurricane shelters do not allow animals. “Pet owners are responsible for disaster planning for their pet. If you plan to evacuate, plan for your pet as well. Take your pet Survival Kit if you go to friends, relatives, or a hotel. Shelters cannot accept pets. So if you plan to go to a public shelter, make the required provisions for your pet(s). After the storm has passed, be careful in allowing your pet outdoors. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered, and your pet could easily be confused and become lost. Downed power lines, and animals and insects brought in with high water, could present real dangers to your pet. Take care not to allow your pet to consume food or water which may have become contaminated,” states NEMO.

In addition, NEMO makes a special note for island residents to take all storm warnings seriously, as 90% of hurricane casualties occur from drowning. “You must evacuate islands and beaches and other vulnerable locations as early as possible,” states NEMO. For those unable to evacuate, NEMO encourages them to be up to date on the location of the hurricane shelter closest to their area. In San Pedro Town, hurricane shelters include the San Pedro High School for residents of the San Mateo, Boca Del Rio, San Juan, San Pedrito, Airstrip, Back-a-town, and surrounding areas, and Sage Brush Church and the Seventh Day Adventist School and Church for residents of the San Telmo, DFC, San Pablo, San Martin, Mosquito Coast, and surrounding areas. Caye Caulker hurricane shelters include The Ocean Academy and the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School. The University of Belize acts as the designated hurricane shelter on the mainland for islanders that evacuate.

In the event of an approaching storm, the local body of NEMO, under the guidance of District Emergentc Coordinator Vanessa Parham, will activate its Emergency Operation Center (EOC). Residents can contact the EOC at 614-5865 or 206-2891 or contact NEMO directly via the Emergency Hotline phone number 936.

 

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