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DEO head: Don’t be caught napping

Mike King

DEO head: Don’t be caught napping

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CONCERNED that some Barbadians have become complacent in relation to weather preparedness, the head of one of the District Emergency Organisations (DEO) thinks that this country could have been caught napping if there was a direct hit from the system that wreaked havoc in St Vincent and St Lucia last month.
Chairman of the St James Central DEO, Selwyn Brooks, alluded to this during a service at St Thomas Parish Church last Sunday, marking the tenth anniversary of his organization.
He said it was unfortunate that some Barbadians felt they should do little and that the onus for storm and flood preparation rested exclusively with the emergency agencies.
“I have no doubt that some Barbadians would have been caught napping if we had felt the fury of the weather system that hit St Vincent and
St Lucia. Even though we would have had some level of mobilization with the various services, the Department of Emergency Management, the police and the fire service only do that much,” he said.
Brooks said it was just a matter of time before Barbados felt the full brunt of a severe weather system.
“I think we are going to be impacted sooner or later. It is not a matter of if we are going to be impacted, it is going to be when we are going to be impacted, how are we going to cope.”
He told the DAILY?NATION that preparation had to start within the homes.
“We have had rain almost every day for the last three months and this is not the norm. The weather pattern has changed significantly in the last few years,” he pointed out.
Brooks said the St James Central DEO was seeking to be progressive at every turn.
“Even though we may have been able to achieve several programmes and initiatives, we are taking stock of what we have done and see how we can move forward this year because I do have the feeling that Barbados is not always going to be lucky all the time.
“People complain that the authorities make them do things and nothing happens, but it is better to prepare and nothing happens, and not to prepare and something happens.”