‘Goodies’ luring some to shelters
Many Barbadians SEEK access to official hurricane shelters during a storm looking for handouts, says an experienced disaster management specialist.
Clive Lorde, who works with the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, expressed what he described as a personal perspective when he spoke to the media yesterday at Accra Beach Hotel following an opening ceremony for a two-day workshop for shelter managers.
“History has shown that quite a lot of Barbadians who don’t necessarily have to go to shelters, [do] go to shelters,”?he said.
“It is not for the fact that they are necessarily vulnerable and want shelter. We know from unscientific research, people figure that there are going to be some goodies distributed and they go to the shelters.”
Lorde, a former deputy head of what is now the Department for Emergency Management in Barbados, explained that many of those taking to shelters unnecessarily sent the wrong message to administrators, as being in the designated buildings “ . . .doesn’t mean that they have an absolute need because of vulnerability of their homes, either in terms of structure or positioning”.
The workshop is one of two scheduled for this week. Facilitators of the sessions were trained by Lorde.
He also said home builders should focus not only on structural strength when erecting houses, but also on coping with multiple disasters.
“Sheltering in a country like Barbados has to begin at this stage where we encourage people to make their homes hazard-resistant whether it be hurricanes, whether it be for earthquakes; or initially where they are buying spots, [consider] the question of flooding,” he said. “Because you could have a hurricane resistant house, or earthquake resistant house, but it is in the
flood zone, and you would still have a challenge.”
The workshops are sponsored by the Ministry of Education in association with the Department for Emergency Management. (GA)