East End needs shelter managers

With the heart of hurricane season
looming, the Shelter Operations Sub-Committee of Hazard Management Cayman Islands
is scrambling to find more volunteer managers for the three East End hurricane
shelters. 

A two-day shelter manager training
session in May attracted nearly 200 people, but Department of Children and
Family Services Disaster Services Coordinator Lynda Mitchell said not enough
people from East End signed on for the duty.

“That district has always been low
in terms of volunteers,” she said, guessing that part of the reason is that the
training sessions were held in the evenings in George Town and people didn’t
want to drive back to East End so late. 

To counter that, Mrs. Mitchell said
training sessions will be held at the East End Civic Centre on Saturday, 14
August from 10am until 3pm.

“We thought it would be better to
recruit people from the district and train them from there,” she said.

As it stands right now, there are
only eight shelter managers available for the East End hurricane shelters,
which are the East End Civic Centre, the Gun Bay Community Hall and the East
End Primary School. Combined, the three shelters can hold 570 people.

Mrs. Mitchell said the Shelter
Operations Sub-Committee is always looking for as many volunteers as it could
get, but realistically, she wants at least another 12 people for the East End
shelters.

“We want to have enough people to
rotate shifts if need be,” she said, adding that shelter managers require time
off as well.

The recruiting for the East End
shelters has taken on a sense of urgency with the peak part of the hurricane
season fast approaching, Mrs. Mitchell said, adding that sufficient numbers of
mangers have been recruited for Grand Cayman’s other hurricane shelters.

“All the other ones are good to
go,” she said.

Previous experience as a shelter
manager is not necessary for anyone who wishes to volunteer for the duty in
East End.  Anyone interested should
contact Mrs. Mitchell by 10 August on 949-0290 or 925-5346, or visit the
Department of Children and Family Services offices on the ground floor of
BritCay House on Eastern Avenue.

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