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Media must play stronger role

Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit, Lorna Inniss, wants the Barbados media to play a stronger role in dealing with disaster preparedness.

“If you notice in the United States what they have done in respect of tsunamis is that the media is folded into the national emergency system. That is the only reason why when there is a tsunami warning for the US the rest of the world hears about it,” she said today at a press conference at the Department of Emergency Management in the Warrens Industrial Park in Warrens.

“They are actually a part of the management system. They have been trained to report on tsunamis and give factual information regarding tsunamis and this is where we need to get to. We need to work with them over a period of time first to generate interest in the hazard and also to make sure that they are trained.

“Because of the challenges associated with wide spread panic, you don’t need any kind of hype or further excitement from the media. The messages should be factual and there should be calming in some situations because this hazard is going to create enough confusion already when it does occur.

“The media have a really strong role to play, especially with tsunamis and we …† also need to jointly determine what that role, is mainly because we are dealing with a fast on-set hazard. I cannot imagine we would be able to do this effectively and saves lives without the media on board,” she said. (KC)†

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