State of national disaster preparedness to be discussed in Central Committee on August 8

The first Central Committee meeting of Parliament after the parliamentary recess will be held on August 8 with respect to the state of national disaster preparedness.


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President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell, back in March had expressed that the Central Committee should meet with disaster management officials to be briefed on national disaster preparedness.

The Central Committee meeting will take place in the General Assembly Chamber of Parliament at 10.00am next week Monday. Presentations will be given by Fire Commander and Disaster Management Coordinator Winston Salomon and Section Head Disaster Management Paul Martens.

The Director of the Seismic Research Centre in Trinidad & Tobago Dr. Richard Robertson, in a media report back in March says Caribbean countries should take heed of the damage caused by the powerful earthquake and tsunami.

Robertson added that in the Caribbean because of increase in population and the distribution of the population, we have actually increased our vulnerability to certain kinds of hazards, in particular to things like tsunamis and earthquakes, pointing out that the region need to put its house in order by putting measures in place to build greater resilience in a long term perspective to those kinds of hazards because they can affect us and it’s just a matter of time before we have a similar kind of natural disaster.

According to contingency planners, the type of resilient measures include designing buildings to withstand the impact of tsunami waves, having in place a early-warning system, public education programmes on what to do and most importantly evacuation strategies.

"I believe that we need to take the time to review our own state of preparedness and what other measures need to be taken for the long-term. We cannot afford to wait and be caught off guard. We have to have our house in order with contingency plans in place. 

"We are a resilient people and have experienced disasters in the past and have overcome these. The Central Committee meeting comes at a time when we are approaching the peak period of the hurricane season. 

"I am looking forward to the meeting in which the public can hear directly from the disaster management team the current state of preparedness for this hurricane season as well as in other areas and plans for the future," President of President Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.