OPEN Letter to All Community Councils

Minister-of-VROMI-Hon-Maurice-Lake.jpg

Dear Editor,
I have listened, heard, and read the recent discussions and workshops on hurricane preparedness. For this Hurricane season which officially starts June 1st, 2018.
As a Community spirited person, my motto for any hurricane season is to “Prepare for the worst and pray for the best”. I would like to advise all Community Councils to start going around in their district and speaking to their residents to start cleaning up their yard of debris and pruning their trees.
We can’t wait on Government to do everything for us. We as community leaders need to start working together and also encourage some of our contractors to also give back to our community. We need to get back to basics by everyone coming together to clean up your own backyard.
We also need to help our seniors and physically challenged in our district by removing their debris and pruning their trees
As a Co-Founder of the St. Peters Community Council, we use to organize pre-hurricane district cleanups with our residents along with Government and the Fire Department. The Fire Department did a fantastic job in community service by assisting us with pruning some of the tall trees within the district. This approach by all Community Councils will instill back pride, respect, unity and togetherness among the residents within the district.
I also would like to applaud our present Prime Minister in organizing the different workshops and meetings among the different Ministries to have a better execution plan of action prior and after any hurricane. We also need to encourage the private sector to put their company’s plans in place for the hurricane season. I also would advise Government to have the police or VKS presence at every roundabout after any major storm to better communicate and direct your local traffic. We have learn allot from Hurricane Irma and this is the time for us to get it right and understand the Prime Minister is in charge prior and after an hurricane and to execute our
hurricane disaster plan for the island. I also would advise Government to test its 2018 hurricane preparedness plan by organizing a massive mock hurricane drill to see what changes need to be made before the peak of our hurricane season.
As a former Minister of VROMI and Advisor in the Cabinet of our Leader Theo Heyliger, who experienced and executed allot of pre and after hurricanes disasters, we should be more experienced in the field and work more closely with the different Community Councils to communicate relevant information to the residents within the districts.
Government also needs to set up a better communication channel within the different district when it comes to relief and distribution of goods for the community. Who better knows the community than the Community Councils which can assist Government with the distribution of relief goods? We just have to assign one contact person with the Council to liaison and communicate back to the rest of the council for pre and after cleanups and distribution of relief goods.
In closing, I am appealing to all Community Councils to take charge and start walking through your districts to inform residents to go through their hurricane preparedness checklist start preparing for the hurricane season. Don’t wait until last minute to start cleaning up loose debris and pruning your trees. I also would advise all Community Councils to start working with government to identify the hurricane shelter within your district.
I believe every district should have a hurricane shelter in place in their area for the hurricane season. The Ebenezer Community Council should advise Government to designate the PVSE School Gym as a hurricane shelter for the residents of Ebenezer. We shouldn’t wait until last minute as Community Councils and residents to start preparing for this hurricane season.
Maurice Lake

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