GT disaster committee meets

The George Town District Emergency Response Committee is meeting Monday evening to recruit volunteers.

George Town residents who are interested in strengthening the disaster preparedness and response capability of their community are invited to attend.

The meeting is set for 6:30pm at the Seafarers Association Hall on Shamrock Road, east of Red Bay Primary School.

District committees follow electoral boundaries, so George Town includes the area from Villas of the Galleon to Spotts/ Newlands.

District Emergency Response Committees have been set up under Hazard Management Cayman Islands, the government agency responsible for all programmes dealing with national disasters, whether natural or man-made.

All district groups have already met at least once, confirmed Mr. Omar Afflick, HMCI deputy director (preparedness).

As HMCI literature points out, it is members of a community who become ‘first responders’ after a major incident. They make the first call to emergency services, they check to see if neighbours are okay, they removed debris to keep people safe, they provide items of need to an impacted household or individual, they maintain a watch on the situation to react to further possible hazard or secondary impact.

Members of the community also have a wealth of information about local resources, past experiences and specific vulnerabilities.

The District Emergency Response Committees will coordinate resources and help prioritise needs after an incident. Committee members may be involved in search and rescue operations and distribution of relief supplies.

But the committees do more than respond to an emergency. Another activity is promoting community awareness of potential hazards and preparedness measures.

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