Holetown businesses get lesson in emergency planning
A number of Government and privately-owned enterprises in Holetown, St James are operating with outdated emergency contingency plans, it emerged Thursday.
It was also revealed at a two-day Planning Development and Enhancement workshop hosted by the Department of Emergency Management (DEM), that some of the businesses were in the processing of updating their plans and needed clarity in planning for the elderly and disabled, and dealing with people who speak foreign languages.
DEM Acting Deputy Director Captain Robert Harewood explained that the workshop was designed to provide participants with the necessary information and guidance to support the development and enhancement of emergency contingency plans for businesses in the area.
He advised that the ability of these businesses to survive the impact of a hazard would depend heavily on their preparation for such an event,” according to the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).
“In order for you to sustain your operations, and by extension, Barbados’ development, there is the critical matter of the survivability of your business,” BGIS quoted Harewood as saying.
However, he said that before preparations could be made, it was necessary to conduct hazard and vulnerability analyses to assess the likely hazards and possible vulnerabilities.
This view was supported by workshop facilitator and retired DEM Director Judy Thomas, who challenged those present to think about what they would do if Barbados were to experience a severe natural disaster similar to the devastating earthquake that struck Italy Wednesday, killing at least 250 people.
The disaster management expert said it was important that in emergency situations were able to carry out the duties thrust on them to respond. Failure to do so, she warned, would be to sentence those most in need to death.