AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 2
IF YOU ARE one of the fanatical believers in the “God is a Bajan” adage, please be informed that Grenadians also said the Almighty was a Grenadian before Ivan broadsided them, and those in New Orleans considered Him to be a special resident there, until their levees broke and all watery hell on earth broke loose as Katrina hit them. By all means keep your faith and pray. But it is best to take a “God helps those who help themselves” attitude when it comes to daily living, and especially so in preparing to survive disasters, including storms and hurricane Older folk still have memories of Janet in 1955, and talk to family and friends about how
frightened they were, including some dramatic memories of breadfruits, coconuts, mangoes and other bearings from trees — as well as galvanised sheets — sailing through the air and bombarding houses. However, Barbados has been hit, and hard, by hurricanes in previous centuries, and had many people killed, buildings demolished, vessels sunk, jetties and near-shore structures, including churches, destroyed. So we all need to have some practical common sense and humility and admit that nature can unleash moderate or intense fury at any time, even if we only occassionally experience it. And the
HE CAME, HE FLOODED, HE DESTROYED... Though Tomas was just a tropical storm when he visited Barbados last year, he left a trail of destruction in his wake. (RC) rain, or other weather, falls equally on the just and unjust. That is the reality. It is said that one of the reasons we escape or just get a little flurry of foreplay or a flick of a tail end from hurricanes is because of our geographical position, since many of the systems coming towards us tend to curve
FLOOD WATERS ROSE to high levels on either side of the wall at Queen’s Park as a result of heavy rains earlier this year.
north before reaching us. However, there will be the odd one that goes more west than north or slips south under us, and instead of going straight to the Mexican area, may turn north and come right over us. Did anyone say Hurricane Janet, Tropical Storm Lili, or Tomas? The island is now densely populated and developed, with many buildings not being strong enough to resist stormy seas, rushing flood waters, or high winds; and we have seen that even a tropical storm can destroy houses and cause damage to hundreds of homes. So we need to be aware, watchful, and as prepared as possible, as individuals, families, communities, businesses, organisations and as a country. If an impactful storm or hurricane strikes, even though we may receive assistance from regional and extra-regional countries, we will need to take care of ourselves during the event and immediately afterwards. THE NATION thanks those who sell essential supplies and products and who offer useful services who have advertised in this special 20-page feature, aimed at reminding readers how they can prepare to protect themselves, loved ones, and their properties as we ride out the second half of the official 2011 Atlantic THIS Hurricane Season.
20-page Storm Watch feature was compiled by Dawn Morgan. LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Lyle Jones, Tamara Stuart and Julia Haynes. PICTURES: Rawle Cubard. ADVERTISING SALES: Advertising Sales Executives Adrian Bowen and Kelly Johnally.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 3 WE ARE HALFWAY THROUGH the hurricane season, and can consider ourselves lucky that we have not had a severe battering by storm or hurricane forces, just some short periods of moderate to heavy rainfall and bits of flooding in some areas. However, there is still the possibility of having a dangerous encounter in the next three months. Two leading experts who make annual predictions for the Tropical Atlantic Cyclone Season, Professor
Predictions favour increased activity
people to close businesses, put up shutters, and get home to secure their houses. 5. Two of the factors influencing this to lots of trees and crops, plus William Gray and Phil Klotzbatch, Those who had already a level of destruction of roofs and houses or preparedness since the end of May, year’s predictions are warmer warned that this region could considerable damage, especially to experience 17 named storms (seven waters in the Atlantic and an before the June 1 start of the official of which have occurred, we got a bit absence of El Niño conditions, with structures which were old and season, would have been better able La Niña the dominant feature, which poorly constructed. of rain when Emily passed and to avoid having to make purchases Tomas seemed to be going scarcely knew when Gert blew up means more wind shear, such as food and beverage, collect encouraging hurricane development. under our island and heading out to water, and fill up their vehicles. They north). Tropical Storm Tomas last the Mexico peninsula when it Nine hurricanes could form out could have concentrated on getting year gave us a graphic reminder that suddenly decided to swing upwards themselves and their families home, of those storms with winds of 74 to visit Barbados, and so swiftly did and would not have been caught on we can experience torrential miles per hour, or higher, with two this occur that it left little time for or three going up to Category 3 to rainfall, flooding, and wind damage the roads when driving rain started.
Ongoing training keeps teams prepped THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT is the umbrella body which combines Government forces, specialist agencies, and private professionals and community volunteers into a cohesive unit which can respond to damage from storms, hurricanes, and other disasters. These combined groups practice their ability to cope with keeping crowds in public order, and to organise the response and management of massive road accidents, large events such as Cricket World Cup, Kadooment Day, Rihanna’s LOUD concert and others. If everything goes smoothly many patrons may be unaware of the presence of some members of the emergency team, however they spring into action when necessary, such as assisting the 60 people who fainted during LOUD and were in need of first-aid and/or medical attention. Training is on-going in various ways throughout the year, not only at the administrative and communications level of emergency management but within the groups making up the team. This includes the recent workshop held in marine rescue for fire officers which would come in handy when they have to cope with flood conditions and take part in rescuing people from deep or rushing waters. Knowing that we have such dedicated and trained persons waiting to respond during the Hurricane Season should not influence us to become overly reliant on them, but we should take responsibility to prepare ourselves and families in whatever ways we can. Volunteers, especially those with rescue skills and fourwheel drive vehicles, those who are willing to be trained in first-aid, and professional construction personnel, are welcome to join the District Emergency Organisation.
OWNERS of four-wheel-drive vehicles can volunteer to assist the DEO with transportation.
New technologies make tracking easier
THE DOPPLER RADAR system.
ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY have made weather forecasting, including storm and hurricane tracking easier and more reliable, and this means that modern society is much better off than in days of yore when such events may have hit people with little notice. This is not to say that it is an exact science and that changes in windspeed or direction do not happen, hence the need to keep checking during the hurricane season. In addition to getting advisories from Florida, there is a Caribbean Doppler Radar system, including a site in Barbados, which adds to the information we can gather, thus giving us enough preparation time before a severe storm or hurricane hits. To a lesser extent, while some may not pay attention, there are people who follow daily weather predictions about rainfall, tropical waves and depressions, if they work outdoors in construction, farming, fishing and other occupations. Or some just like to know if they should walk with an umbrella or raincoat. In addition to news through the print and electronic news media, locally, regionally and internationally, some people are now also checking Internet sites which have weather predictions to keep themselves up-to-date with storm and hurricane tracking.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 4 EVERY INDIVIDUAL or family needs to have a plan for storms, hurricanes and other disasters, with everyone involved knowing their role in preparations, action during the event, and in the aftermath. Whereas assistance can be expected from emergency services, public and private, such personnel cannot be exposed to danger during the passage of severe weather, and may be delayed in getting about afterwards due to broken bridges, damaged roads, fallen trees and vehicles stuck on flooded streets. Your plan should start with considering if the house is strong enough to stay in, or whether you need to seek alternative accomodation at relatives, neighbours or friends who live in sturdier structures. Once youâ€™ve decided, get their permission and find out if you need to bring food or anything else with you. If the decision is to go to a shelter, then a list of foods, and other items you need to carry should also be made, and containers in which you can carry water kept at the ready. If you live in a strong building but have relatives, neighbours or friends who are not as fortunate, then you can speak with them about possibly coming to your residence to ride out a hurricane. Do not assume they will know if you expect them to bring food, beddings, towels, and so on, but make it clear what items you need them to bring with them. As the earth tremor of November 2007 demonstrated, we can also have incidents in which our telephone services are affected and we cannot reach loved ones. Therefore a family plan should also involve a meeting point to get to, or which house to go to, as traffic blockages could also prevent you from being able to pick up family members, but they may be able to get to the agreed home or meeting point with other private transportation, public transportation, bicycling or by walking. Preparations such as having extra non-perishable foods, first aid supplies, and other items needed during the hurricane season should be done well before warnings and watches, and vehicles should be kept in running order, with petrol and oil filled before being empty. This removes your need to spend time in supermarkets, gas stations, hardware and convenience stores in a last minute exercise, having to stand in long lines, or
BROKEN ROADS may delay emergency personnel in getting to you quickly. (RC) for this season can also include your plan for coping with other emergencies such as fires, floods outside of the season, storm surges or high tides (if you live on or near the beach), and tsunamis.
perhaps being able to get items which are sold out by the time you get there. Such delays can prevent you from being able to go straight to schools or workplaces to pick up loved ones, and, even worse, can find you still on the road when the fury of severe weather descends on the island. The whole idea behind preparedness is to leave as little as possible to be done in the last 24 hours (or less) prior to a storm or hurricane strike. Having discussions and plans
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 5 HAVE YOU EVER asked yourself what type of risks you and yours are likely to face when a hurricane is about to hit Barbados, or even a moderate or severe storm? Ask yourself these questions: Do you live in a ramshackle or weak house? Is your roof lacking in strength and loose in parts? Is the house just resting on the ground or bricks? Have you placed the building on or near a water course? Is the spot you live on at the edge of a drop-off in an area known for landslippage? Do you live in an area famous for flooding? If you answered yes to these questions, then you need to face the fact that you are at great risk during highly inclement weather and need to take special precautions. Of course, the best solution to improve the odds would be if you could build a stronger house, with foundation and a hurricaneresistant roof. However, you may not have the money or be able to access the funds to do so right now, even if you hope to do so in the future. Therefore, if the weather reports and emergency advisories point to extremely high winds and very heavy rainfall, you need to secure the house as best as you can, and move to family, neighbours or friends who agree to let you stay at them until the danger has passed. Unless they have assured you that they can afford to feed you, offer to take some food and beverages with you. If you are unable to make such an arrangement, then you need to go to a shelter, and you are asked to bring your own food, water, sanitary supplies. Remember to take your medications and important documents with you. Hoping and praying that your residence is not destroyed is all well and good, but it is your duty to take action to protect your life and to seek what help you need.
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BUILDINGS with weak or old roofs are at high risk for damage during hurricanes. (RC)
IF LIVING in a flood prone area, ensure the property premiter is free of garbage or blocked drains. (RC)
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 6 WHETHER OR NOT to go to a private or Government shelter prior to a hurricaine hitting the island is a matter of personal choice, and people should listen to their radios (battery operated) to make sure the shelters in their districts are open, and to get there before the full brunt of the onslaught. Those who live in well constructed houses with strong roofs and hurricane resistant building methods, or who simply prefer to remain at home, perhaps afraid of robbers breaking in, may decide not to go to shelters. Others will ask family, friends or neighbours who live in solid structures if they can ride out the storm at them. However, there is still a need to have shelters open to the public, for those who think it is their best choice to go there. Category 1 shelters are used for hurricaines or other disasters. Category 2 may be used if buildings so designated have weathered the storm and remain in good enough condition to be used after a disaster. There are some shelters which can accomodate disabled people and these include: Coleridge and Parry School, St Peter; St Christopher’s Primary, Christ Church; Lester Vaughn Secondary School, St Thomas; and George Lamming Primary and St Ambrose Primary in St Michael. However, one can be proactive by informing Community Councils, District Emergency Organisations, and any groups giving special attention to the disabled, weak and geriatric, of the location of such persons in the community, as transportation may have to be organised for them to take them to the shelter. People who are very poor may also need to be provided with food and other items to take with them. In the case of vulnerable persons insisting on staying in their homes, and who live alone, neighbours should check on them after the bad weather has fully abated.
KEEP A LIST of the emergency shelters nearest you handy in the event of a disaster. (FP)
When planning to go to a shelter or supervising the preparation of taking someone to a shelter, there are some things to bear in mind, according to the regulations, so that each person can cover his or her needs for three to four days, at least: Charge your cell phones but avoid use during lightning. Battery radio and music player with earphones but be cautious during lightning. Fill water containers to leave in the house. Have a neighbour keep valuables if possible. Shower, wash hair and eat before leaving home. Let your close neighbours know you will not be at home. Wear comfortable but modest clothing and carry a change. Wear or carry boots or enclosed sneakers, gloves, rainwear. Take water. Take non-perishable, ready to eat, non-messy, easy to open food. Take essential sanitary
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products, including wipes and sanitizers. Baby care items if applicable. Foods and snacks for children. Quiet playthings such as books and puzzles. Alcohol use or smoking is not allowed. Do not carry weapons or illegal drugs. Prescribed and first-aid medications can be packed. Important documents and ID should be taken. In a notebook list contact numbers and medical information. A small torch and batteries may be useful at night or after the storm. Keep your cash carefully. Be protective, patient, understanding, tolerant and kind while in the shelter.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 7 WHEN THINKING of foods to keep during the Hurricane Season there are two groups you need to consider. Firstly, the food, beverage and water you need for riding out the storm’s duration; then what you will need during the first and second week after the passage of the severe weather. DURING STORMS Non-perishables which require no preparation are best, such as biscuits, breads, nuts, fresh and dried fruit, corned beef, luncheon meat, canned ham, canned tuna, BOOTS, other sardines, cereals and cereal bars, protective cookies, peanut butter, jam or gear and jelly, canned corn, other tools will be vegetables and beans; juices and needed to other soft drinks and lots of clean up bottled and stored water. in the Water purification tablets can aftermath. be added to stored water or a (RC) few drops of bleach. Look for canned foods with peel-off tops and be sure to have a handor wood. operated can opener and bottle opener. Simple meals, especially one-pot creations, It is best to avoid drinking alcohol during bouts of very bad weather as you need to have just as our fore-parents did in the days of coalpot cooking; or just place ground your mind sharp if faced with dangerous provisions or canned meats wrapped situations in which you have to make quick decisions. You also cannot take alcohol into the in foil to grill meals. Basic foods such as rice, pasta, corn meal, shelters. ground provisions, breadfruit (picked before AFTER PASSAGE Since electricity will be shut off before and the storm), and canned meats and fish, or dried saltfish, dried peas and beans, canned during a serious storm or hurricane and damage to poles, lines or other equipment may vegetables, dried herbs, a dash of salt, and a bit of ketchup can provide nutritious and mean having to wait for service to be restored, it is a good idea to have a grill which delicious meals. Canned soups are easy to warm up or you can be used outdoors with a gas bottle, coals
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can boil a pot of soup with dried and canned ingredients. LANTERNS (preferably battery-operated), and Oats and other dried porridges torchlights are much needed essentials during the and cereals, along with canned hurricane season. (FP) milk, and a bit of sugar or dried type food containers, plates, bowls, cups and fruit can be made into good, healthy cutlery so that you do not have to use your breakfasts. Don’t forget coffee, tea, stored water to wash up dishes. Of course, cocoa or other beverages. you need a good supply of plastic bags with It is a good idea to keep a stock of picnic ties and paper towels or napkins.
Useful items to have on hand IN ADDITION TO water, food and essential medication, there are other items which one should keep during the storm season, as these will be most useful in riding out the bad weather and surviving during the aftermath. A generator is a good investment. First aid kit. Non-electric radio and batteries. Non-electric torches and batteries. A lighter and matches. Fully charged cellphone. Keep fire safety in mind if using candles. Coolers for food, beverages and ice.
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Cleaning supplies for use in and around •house. Plastic tarpaulin for quick fix of broken •roof/window. nails, screws, saw, • Hammer, Water proof for documents. • Gloves, bootscontainers sturdy sneakers. • Gloves, goggles,orrainwear. • Have extra garbage bags. • Toilet paper, wipes and sanitary products. • Books, puzzles, cards, and so on to pass •the time. and pen. • Notebook • Fill up petrol and oil before empty.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 8 OWNERS AND MANAGERS of workplaces and other businesses need to have special plans for coping with disasters such as fires, floods, and the high winds of hurricanes. Those on or near the beach also have to consider the danger posed by very high and rough seas, or storm surges which are activated by powerful winds. Insurance for commercial entities should cover flood, wind, storm, hurricane, and fire damage and also injuries, to staff and customers. Some essential checkpoints to follow: Are back-up or duplicate records or valuable documents kept in another location, and high off of the ground in the headquarters? Roofs should be kept in good condition and any leaks or loose areas repaired immediately. Shutters to protect glassfronts, glass doors, and windows should be ready for swift installation or activation. Generators need to be checked periodically. First aid kits should have full supplies. Do you have computer continuance in case of electrical shutdown? Are wireless laptops, notebooks, and other mobile communications items available for use. If you are unable to use computerised or automatic cash registers and accept debit and credit cards, do you have
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emergency services will also be called upon to work. Food supplies such as canned meats and fish and biscuits, cereal bars and so on, water, juices, coffee and tea should be available to workers. Flashlights will be needed as well as battery operated radios and extra batteries. Those who need to go into the open need boots, gloves, and rainjackets or raincoats. Businesses can have a special team to co-ordinate procedures plant for security of the before, during and after disasters, premises or quick repair work, and this can be the same group for which basic tools such as saws, hammers, and nails will be who function as fire wardens needed, as well as rope, masking during drills, or the health and tape, brooms, mops and buckets. safety committee. Protocols can be designed and Some of those in the media, medical services and security or followed for: Hurricane
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calculators for handling cash and receipt books? Keep cell phones charged. Have company vehicles kept in good condition, gas tanks filled, and so on. Glow in the dark lighting strips or signs should mark exits. Use your public address system to inform staff about the impending bad weather, the times they can leave work and the official closing time. Light and loose items outside the building should be kept inside when a storm is expected. Staff who travel by public transport should be among the earliest allowed to leave before closure. Those with their own vehicles or being dropped home by company transport can leave a bit later. In some types of businesses, a few members of management and staff may agree to stay on
Hurricane shelters in your area St Andrew
Category 1 public school shelters Alleyne Secondary School St Andrew Primary School
Category 1 public school shelters St Bernard’s Primary School Grantley Adams Memorial School St Joseph Primary School
Category 2 public school shelter Chalky Mount Primary School
Preparedness; Hurricane Watch; Hurricane Warning; and After The Hurricane. Strong storms may also require taking appropriate steps, especially if the location of the plant, shop, mall, hotel, restaurant, office or other commercial building is near the shore or in a flood-prone area. It is also a good idea to have a list of contact numbers and addresses for all staff so that calls can be made to ensure their safety and to let them know if they need to come in to work, and when. Depending on the condition of the roads some people may need transportation to get to work, while others may be injured and receiving medial attention and needing to be on medical leave.
St Lucy Category 1 public school shelters Ignatius Byer Primary School St Lucy Primary School Category 1 privately-owned shelters St Lucy Parish Church Pentecostal House of Prayer Hope Road Church of the Nazarene Category 2 public school shelters Half Moon Fort Selah Primary School St Lucy Secondary School
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 9
ST PHILIP Category 1 public school shelters Hilda Skeene Primary School Princess Margaret Secondary School St Mark’s Primary School St Philip Primary School Reynold Weekes Primary School Category 1 privately-owned shelters Six Roads Church of Christ Rices Methodist Church Six Roads Seventh Day Adventist Church Category 2 public shelter Bayley’s Primary School Category 2 privately-owned shelters St Mark’s Anglican Church St Mark’s Church Hall St Catherine’s Anglican Church Gemswick Nazarene Church Ruby Nazarene Church Four Square Nazarene Church
ST JOHN Category 1 public school shelters St John Primary School Category 2 public school shelters Mount Tabor Primary School St Margaret’s Primary School Society Primary School Category 2 privately-owned shelters Codrington College St Gabriel Church
THERE ARE STORIES in the media about some people whose homes are damaged or destroyed by a passing storm, as with Lili, and more recently, Tomas. These are mostly poorly built wooden structures with little or no foundation and no hurricane resistant measures in place. In addition owners usually have no insurance, these victims call on the Government in power to assist them in rebuilding, or, in some cases, relocating them into stateowned housing. All of this is at the taxpayers’ expense. The people involved will have to find temporary accommodation and wait their turn on the official list of those who have been approved for assistance, such as pensioners or the unemployed, or persons with disabilities or illnesses that prevent them from earning enough to pay for their own repairs or rebuilding. Some were in such dire straits before the storms that they could not improve their homes to withstand storms. However, there are two myths which need to be removed from the minds of the public: fristly, that one cannot build wooden or mainly wood
Trade/wholesale available at:
and some wall buildings with hurricane resistant features; and secondly, that owners of wood buildings or mainly wooden, cannot obtain insurance coverage. Buildings made mainly or totally of wood, which have solid foundations and the use of hurricane straps, harnesses, and ties; with purlin attachments to the ceilings, and roofs designed to resist lift-off, can usually qualify for all categories of insurance coverage. The cost of the premium will be related to the market value of the structure, that is, the rebuilding cost, and a clause will specify what percentage the owner has to pay in case of damage or destruction. The money you spend out of your own pocket for home improvement (or the interest
INSURANCE will help you repair and/or rebuild. (RC) you pay on a loan under that heading) can bring you income tax benefits when you file your returns. Whereas the broadest insurance coverage is part of the mortgage agreement with banks, credit unions, and finance institutions, some home owners make the mistake of not continuing insurance after they have finished the loan payments; or avoid seeking this financial assistance if they have built or bought homes with their own funds. So if fire, flood, wind damage or destruction occur, they will be dependent on their own savings or begging relatives or the government for help. The “I don’t need building insurance” attitude, or “I don’t
think I can get insurance so I won’t even enquire” is totally ridiculous when one observes that these same people will ask about warrantees or insurance coverage for appliances they are purchasing, or their televisions and other electronics. Since your home, and/or business premises, are the biggest investments you are most likely to make in your Elifetime, it is wise to use best building practices; have retrofitting done in old structures; and seek the widest and best insurance coverage that can be obtained. Ensure that you have revaluations done from time to time and update your coverage.
AFTER • Keep your radios tuned to a local station. Many precautionary steps must be taken after a hurricane passes.
• Keep your radio tuned continuously to a local station for frequent hurricane updates. • Stay inside! Leave only if ordered to evacuate. • If you must drive, watch for falling trees, fallen wires and flooding. • Keep one window slightly open on the leeward side of your house. If a window breaks, go to an interior room to avoid injury from flying glass. • Use your telephone for emergency calls only. • If the eye of the storm passes over your house, stay inside! The winds will return suddenly –possibly with even greater force.
• Keep your radios tuned to one of the local stations. Make certain the batteries are fresh in your portable radio. • Stay away from beaches and other low-lying areas which may be swept by high tides or storm waves. Leave early! Roads to high ground may become impassable hours before the hurricane hits land. • Store anything that could blow away: garbage cans, garden tools, furniture and plants. Remove tree limbs that could fall on your house or power lines. • Lock garage doors. Awnings should be tied securely or taken down. Board up windows. • Do not drain your swimming pool. Turn off all electrical pool equipment. Add extra chlorine to avoid contamination. • Boats should be hauled out or moored strongly. • Do not try to secure your boat in rough water. • Make certain your car is safe – preferably in a garage. Fill your tank with gasoline. • Keep your flashlight in good working order. Be very careful if you use candles and/or portable cooking equipment. • Fill clean containers with drinking water. Put large water container in the bathroom. Toilets will not flush if water supply is interrupted. Fill bathtubs and sinks. • Be sure you have plenty of non-perishable food on hand. • Fire can be a serious problem. Have a good fire extinguisher nearby. An alternative is a bucket of sand.
o o o o
o o o o o o
Forward Speed (mph)
Central Pressure (inches Hg.) Maximum Wind (mph)
Lo n g i (°Wtude )
o o o o o
AMBULANCE SERVICE QEH........... 511
EMERGENCY........... 436-6185 OR 427-8819
COAST GUARD & DEFENSE FORCE
(CDERA) ............ 427-8513 OR 422-7725 /438-
DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Extra drinking water TV antenna taken down Tubs and sinks filled with water Fire extinguisher Plenty well stocked: canned goods, milk, dry cereal , baby food, powdered drinks and lots of EVE products
CHECKLIST FOR A HURRICANE WARNING
Battery-operated radio Pets inside or otherwise protected Functional flashlights Loose outside objects stored or secured Batteries for radio and flashlights First aid kit with bandages, adhesive tapes, antiseptics, etc. Candles and plenty of matches Car tank filled with gasoline Extra ice in freezer Extra supply of prescription or emergency medications Gas for your cooking unit Tree branches tied or cut
Stock up for the hurricane season with Eve non-perishable foods.
When any disaster threatens, The NATION newspaper is your port in the storm. As soon as a hurricane is brewing in our area, you get on-the-scene coverage from The NATION’s award-winning reporters and photographers. Get all of the stories – the whole picture – in The NATION newspaper and on nationnews.com
Your best protection is to stay informed by getting the details from radio bulletins.
A Tropical Storm Warning is issued for areas not directly affected by the hurricane. A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when possible sustained winds within the range of 39 to 73 mph are expected within 24 hours or less.
A Hurricane Warning is issued when forecasters believe the island will suffer hurricane damage. A Hurricane Warning is issued when winds are expected to sustain 74 mph or higher within 24 hours or less. When a Hurricane Warning is issued listen to your radio stations continuously and take all safety precautions.
A Hurricane Watch is posted for Barbados when a hurricane or an incipient hurricane condition poses a possible threat to the island. A Hurricane Watch does not indicate immediate danger. However, safety precautions requiring more than 18 hours to complete, should be started immediately.
When the stations broadcast a hurricane advisory, use the chart below to note the pertinent information. Then mark the location of the hurricane on the tracking chart.
When a hurricane forms radio stations in Barbados will provide its eye position by latitude and longitude. (For example, latitude 12.5 degrees north and longitude 40.6 degrees west)
Always keep your radios tuned to a local station since they give regular & reliable bulletins
HOW TO TRACK A HURRICANE
• Make a list of storm damage to your home. Take photographs of the damage for Insurance purposes.
• Open freezers and ice chest only when necessary until power is restored.
• Stay away from disaster areas! Stay away from broken and low-hanging power lines. Notify police or the utility company of the damage. • Stay home! Do not drive!
Lat itu (°N) de
Forward Speed (mph)
HURRICANE TRACKING CHART
10. AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. AUGUST 28, 2011. 11
Shelters in your area Christ Church Category 1 public school shelters Milton Lynch Primary School St Christopher Primary School Arthur Smith Primary School Gordon Walters Primary School Christ Church Girls School Christ Church Foundation School Category 1 privatelyowned shelters Cane Vale Seventh Day Adventish Church Christ Church Parish Church Hall St Christopher Anglican Church Category 2 public school shelters St Lawrence Primary School Vauxhall Primary School St Bartholomew’s Primary School Category 2 privatelyowned shelters Hawthorn Methodist Church St Matthias Anglican Church The Salvation Army Church, Wotton
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 12 YOUR HOME is your very own castle, be it ever so humble or grand, so ensure that you fortify your castle to survive storms and hurricanes; that you have the most comprehensive insurance you can secure, and your payments are made. You should have built your house with hurricaneresistant features and the strongest roof possible, but you also need to keep it in good repair and to maintain the building and grounds. Here are some reminders: Loose spots on the roof should be fixed. Drains around the roof as well as drains in the yard or around the perimeter should be cleared. Shutters or plyboard pieces for nailing over glass windows and doors, and the necessary nails and screws should be on hand. Light patio and yard furniture, TREES that are close to buildings and electrical wires should be bicycles, outdoor toys and potted plants should be moved trimmed. (RCs) room, where you can keep the indoors. Unless you have a generator, pets inside – be sure to have Trim trees and if hurricane unplug electrical appliances and enough dry pet food and water warning is announced and your television. for two weeks during Hurricane glass doors and windows are in Have lamps and torches handy season. Do not take pets to the firing line of fruits or and be cautious of using candles shelters. breadfruits and coconuts, you to avoid fires. If you have livestock they can be could consider picking them and Ride out the storm in a central left in their pens but do not tie keeping the useful ones inside part of the house, or even a them with rope as they can and burying the rest. bathroom, where you are least strangle themselves in fright. Is there an extra bedroom or likely to be injured if windows Some animals may run away and bathroom, or a spot in the are broken and glass or objects come back later on. house, perhaps the laundry
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fly indoors. Remember you will have a period of severe bombardment, then a calm spot which is the Eye of the Hurricane, but do not go outside of the house or shelter as the second part of the hurricane circle will then hit. Have water, radio, first aid supplies, phone, laptop or other wireless notebook or mobile, and emergency food near to you. Important documents such as insurance papers, ID, passport, drivers licence, and so on, should also be near to hand and in a waterproof container. After the bad weather abates, check your natural gas lines and water line, if broken, shut off valves and report if necessary. After electricity has been restored in your area, if you still do not have power, report this as well. Mobile networks and landline service may also be affected for awhile.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 13
St George Category 1 public school shelters Cuthbert Moore Primary School Ellerton Primary School St George Primary School St Jude’s Primary School St Luke’s Brighton Primary School Workman’s Primary School Blackman Gollop Primary School
THE DESIGN and strength of roofs will determine whether it resists gale force winds or flies off in storms. Losing a roof (right) exposes all possessions to rain and wind.
Strong roofs can save buildings IF YOUR ROOF BLOWS during a storm or hurricane then you and all your possessions will be exposed to the brunt of the severe weather, and you may also lose the walls in that scenario. Therefore having a well designed, strongly constructed roof, with hurricane straps is a priority when you live in an area where for half of every year you
can be battered by storms and hurricanes. Those with weak or old roofs should consult engineers and contractors about have some rebuilding or retrofitting done, with hurricane resistant harnesses and purlins, to improve their odds of surviving storms with their structures intact.
Category 2 privately-owned shelters St George’s Parish Church St Luke’s Church St Jude’s Church Hall Category 2 public school shelters South District Primary School
St Thomas Category 1 public school shelters Sharon Primary School Lester Vaughn Secondary School Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary School Category 1 privately-owned shelters Clifton Hall Moravian Church Category 2 public school shelters Holy Innocent’s Primary School Welches Primary School
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Shelters in your area Garden Seventh Day Adventist Church Category 1 public shelters Orange Hill Church of God Good Shepherd Primary School Queen’s College Category 2 public shelters St Alban’s Primary School St James Primary School Gordon Greenidge Primary St Silas Primary School West Terrace Primary School Category 1 privatelyowned shelters St James
St Peter OUR ISLAND is so small that by international standards very little of our land mass would be considered outside of a coastal zone. However, everything being relative, we tend to regard the sea itself, the beachfront, and the near shore area as having a highly risky profile when it comes to high tides, wind driven storm surges which can add 15 feet to normal tides and push a lot of power, and the ability of the waves to attack boats on the water and buildings close to shore. Boat owners try to get their vessels into safe harbour, and fishermen or those on other small boats will try to have them put into a somewhat sheltered area, or hauled up on land. Owners and operators should remove all valuables from boats which have been hauled up. Of course it also follows that it would not be wise to set out on a fishing or pleasure trip while the island is under warning or watch advisories, and, if out at sea when you hear those directives, then do not approach shore but try to put distance between the vessel and the storm path. Large ships such as the cruise vessels which usually stop here for a day, will stay out at sea when stormy seas are predicted, in order to avoid damage to the ship and placing passengers lives in greater danger if they came into the near shore waters to deboard and reboard. So during the hurricane season it happens now and then that we are by-passed, if severe weather threatens. Vesels transversing international waters should carry forecasting charts from the Tropical Prediction Centre of the Florida-based National Hurricane Centre which enable analysis of storm paths and assists in re-plotting of courses should captains need to use alternate routes. Owners, managers, permanent and temporary residents of buildings on the beach or across from the beach should also consider the area to be at high risk for invasion by strong waves and possible erosion of sand and soil. Unless there is a very well constructed “raft” or “floating bridge” type of foundation, the building itself can be endangered by strong and persistent surge tides. We also have some small ground floor residences, some of them quite old and weak on or near the beach and those who live in them should not stay at home when a strong storm or hurricane is expected. Therefore, it is best if everyone in such areas be evacuated further inland. Whereas some visitors may have flown out of the island in advance of the storm, those who remain need to be moved to shelters. As wonderful as the ambience is on or near the beach, and as great the potential for fishing, and leisure sailing on the seas, when storms abound, those areas are full of danger and extra precautions need to be exercised.
VISITORS WHO STAY HERE during hurricanes will need to be evacuated from beach areas. (RC)
Category 1 public school shelters All Saints Primary School Coleridge Parry School Roland Edwards Primary
Category 2 public school shelter Alexandra School Category 2 privatelyowned shelter St Philip The Less Church
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 15 ONCE UPON A STORM, only names of females were used, perhaps because it was all or mostly men doing the naming, and ladies having the same name, as say, Janet, were teased about how “dangerous” they were. In 1979, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) began alternating male and female names, and although a bit of fun was still had at the expense of Frederick or Ivan the teasing did die down considerably. A later decision was made to make the names more diverse by including some non-Anglophile selections. The names for 2011 storms still unused are: Jose, Katia, Lee,
What’s in a (storm) name?
THE NAME KATRINA has been retired from the list of storm names that can be used because of the devastation the hurricane caused – it is on record as one of the most damaging storms in recent history. (GP)
St Michael shelters Category 1 public schools Grazettes Primary School Harrison College Lawrence T Gay Memorial School Luther Thorne Memoral School St Leonard’s Boys School St Matthew’s Primary School St Stephen’s Primary School Barbados Community College Bay Primary School Charles F Broome Memorial School Combermere School Eden Lodge Primary School Ellerslie Secondary School The Garrison Secondary School Springer Memorial Secondary School University of the West Indies Westbury Primary School The St Michael School George Lamming Primary School St Ambrose Primary School Parkinson Memorial Secondary School Category 1 privately-owned shelters Black Rock Seventh Day Adventist Church Dalkeith Methodist Church Emmanuel Baptist Church St Mary’s Anglican Church St Barbabas Day Care Centre Category 2 public shelters Belmont Primary School Deacon’s Primary School Grantley Prescod Memorial School Eagle Hall Primary School Hindsbury Primary School St Giles Primary School St Mary’s Primary School St Paul’s Primary School Wesley Hall Infants School Wesley Hall Junior School Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School Category 2 privately-owned shelters Chapman Street Church of God Fairfield Gospel Hall Government Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church Haggatt Hall Wesleyan Holiness Church St Matthew’s Anglican Church St Paul’s Anglican Church Whitehall Methodist Church
Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney. Every year a list of 21 names is set out, with the Greek alphabet then being used if necessary, thus Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and so on. Whereas the official Atlantic Hurricane Season or Tropical Cyclone Season runs from June 1 for six
months, a rare out of season system will be given the next name in line, even if occurs in December. Whereas names of non-damaging storms are repeated after some years have passed, the most massively impactful hurricanes which caused extreme destruction are retired, since they can bring back such negative memories.
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Human trauma inevitable in a disaster WHEN SEVERE STORMS, hurricanes, and other disasters do major damage and destruction of residences, businesses, crops, roads, water and electrical services, and looting decimates food supplies, or flooding destroys some foods, the result is a lot of human suffering. In addition to those with existing chronic diseases, there is a spike in opportunistic colds and flus, wet conditions and homelessness or make-shift housing leads to more respiratory infections including pneumonia. Lack of clean water and adequate food can result in infections such as gastroenteric disorders, vomiting and diahorrea. There is always the danger of an epidemic of typhoid or cholera when toilets and sanitary supplies are limited, and there is not enough water for frequent hand washing. Some people will have been injured in the disaster and will require medical attention and accommodation in alternative buildings if health institutions are damaged or destroyed. Others will be sadly searching for relatives and having to cope with the sudden deaths of loved ones. Feelings of loss, bewilderment, denial of the real situation, powerlessness and hopelessness can result in mental and emotional breakdowns and traumatic states, even shock. Frustration can fuel anger and mood swings, especially if you have lost your house, business or belongings. An overload of stress and loss of sleep for several nights, and a continued
feeling of being unsafe and insecure can all trigger reactions in some people. People can suffer headaches, nausea, aches and pains, confusion, difficulty in concentrating, anxiety and depression, with some becoming suicidal. Overly aggressive feelings can result in rage and attacks, including robberies and rapes on the weaker and more vulnerable. Some of the mental trauma can be overcome by helping others who are worse off, or involving yourself in rebuilding efforts. Avoiding looking at replays of the disaster can also help you to get back to your balance. Those who are believers will find comfort and hope in prayer and meditation. Playing with children, indulging in simple games and sports, singing and making music can also lift spirits. However, those who are unable to function normally long after a disaster should seek or be referred to psychologists or trained counsellors to help them overcome grief or trauma. Group sessions putting together people who have had similar losses can also be helpful. Children who have lost parents or parents who have lost children need special counselling. Psychiatric help will most likely be needed for those who had preexisting mental conditions, including those who suffer from dementia, or who have low IQ challenges. Therefore, while they may not be thought of as first-line emergency personnel in the same way as those dealing with physical health, mental health personnel and
THIS MAN was one of many who fought for their lives when raging flood waters took over the streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. (FP)
volunteers with counselling training will be needed during the aftermath of disasters to help people cope and get back to the best level of normalcy they can THE PEOPLE of Grenada suffered more than physical damage when Hurricane Ivan manage. struck the island several years ago. (FP)
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Handling health issues in a crisis DURING DISASTERS such as storms, there will be a certain period of time while the bad weather is raging, and in the immediate aftermath (when roads may be flooded, bridges broken) that people need to handle their health challenges in the best way they can, before medical personnel and first aid volunteers can reach them. Of course, the more people who learn first aid the better and this can be done through various organisations. Even if you do not become a District Emergency volunteer, at least you will be better able to help yourself, neighbours, and family. People who have chronic illnesses which require daily prescribed medications need to have at least two weeks to a months supply when a hurricane is approaching and estimated likely to affect the island. Those who need to keep medications cool should have a small cooler for this purpose in which the insulin or other such drugs can be kept, with a frozen ice pack and/ or ice inside. It is best for those with heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, or any serious illness to inform family, close friends and neighbours about their challenges and symptoms, and to have one or two people check with them periodically to ensure they are okay. They should also have a list of their conditions and medications taken in their wallets, bags or diaries so that medical personnel who are unfamiliar with their cases can be aware what they may have taken. Many diabetics have personal glucose testing kits and some hypertensives also have blood pressure testing
A FIRST AID KIT –like this one from the Red Cross – should be on your checklist of emergency supplies. (GP) together in a waterproof container should be part of your hurricane preparedness. Some of the items to be included are: • Tape, plasters and bandages. • Scissors. IF GOING TO A SHELTER remember to take medicines • Alcohol and cotton wool. along with you. Use a small cooler to store medication • Antiseptic. that require refrigeration. (GP) • Sterile water to wash wound. equipment which can guide them about medication or first• Antibiotic ointment. aid measures. • Anti-itch ointment. In general, there are other, non-prescription medications • Anti-diarrhoea medication. which should also be kept throughout the year and • Stomach upset medication. especially during the storm season, such as headache tablets, • Clean washcloth, hand towel. flu or cold remedies, non-aspirin pain killers (aspirin cannot • Individually wrapped sanitary pad, be taken by some people and is not to be used if dengue which can be used to staunch bleeding wound. fever is suspected), aspirin (to be taken to thin blood if a • Wipes, gel/liquid cleansers. heart attack is suspected), allergy medicines, and essential • Liquid tears or eye washes. supplements. • Pain spray. A first aid kit, whether bought in a package, or put • Insect repellant.
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HURRICANE READINESS should begin long before the event occurs, especially if you live in a hurricane-prone area. It is said that “a person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water”. Make sure that should a system pass over the island, you have enough water for yourself and your family to survive. You can prepare far in advance for the possible loss of water supply amidst other challenges. Keep several clean, air-tight containers to store enough drinking water for several days — about five gallons for each person in your household should serve for several days. To keep drinking water safe from contamination, it should be stored in clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered containers. Remove all commercial labels from the bottles or clearly mark them ‘drinking water’ so that children do not mix up bottles containing hazardous substances with bottles being used for drinking water. To increase the shelf life of the stored water, group bottles in dark, plastic trash bags to keep light out or store the containers in a cool, dark location. When you stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period, you should include disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" and hand sanitiser for the family to use in case bathing or cleaning facilities are not immediately available.
Clear sewer lines During and after a hurricane, the Barbados Water Authority’s ( BWA) sewerage system may become compromised. To ensure that there are no problems with the connection between your home and the Authority’s sewer lines after a natural disaster, take the following precautions in the pre-hurricane stage: Ensure that all drainage pipes/sewer lines are flowing freely by using a sewer snake, wire or hose to clear any blockages that might occur within the line. Do not dispose of any hand paper, sanitary napkins, towels, diapers, plastic bottles or bottles in any plumbing fixture or drain. Check and clean your grease-trap, removing and collecting any oil or grease collected in a bag for disposal as solid waste. Any difficulties being experienced while cleaning outside the property or its junction box should be referred to the BWA for attention. When a watch is issued When the hurricane watch is issued, you should: Review your emergency plans and replenish supplies; Fill your clean water containers; Fill any available sinks or bathtubs with water for non-drinking uses should the normal supply through the taps be interrupted; Clear and clean all debris from guttering and ensure that you place containers under the down pipes to catch the rainwater and have it available for use if needed. Prepare for evacuation Anticipate that you may need to evacuate and prepare for it. If you have time, turn off all utilities including water. You can turn off the main water supply to your home by turning off the ball valve. Make sure everyone in your home knows where this valve is located and how to turn it off. Take only essential items with you to the shelter including ample food and water as well as a radio with batteries. Don’t forget food and water for any pets. Practice conservation — limit the water you use for washing dishes, brushing your teeth, or preparing food — you will need to keep some to drink. It is critical to remember to practise basic hygiene during any emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and clean water or use hand sanitiser before eating or handling food. After the storm After the storm has passed, listen for public announcements regarding the return of the water supply to your area if it had to be turned off. Ensure that any saved water is still safe before using it. Use any water from storage tanks and other types of containers with caution, ensuring first that they are clean and sanitized. Following the passage of a storm, the water supply to your home may have become contaminated and unfit to drink. Should the water have become unsafe to drink due to infiltration of contaminants via broken pipes, a “Boil Water” notice will be issued by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the BWA.
• • • • • • • •
If this occurs, boil the water vigorously for three to five minutes and let it cool.You can add a pinch of salt, or pour back and forth between two containers to improve the taste. Boiling water kills harmful bacteria and parasites. Do not waste stored water Once the water supply has been restored to your area and you have no further immediate need for the stored water, please do not waste it by simply throwing it away. Use it for non-potable purposes in the house. Submited by the Barbados Water Authority.
THERE ARE a number of containers that can be utilised — either for home or business – to store water. (GP)
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THE SIDES of roads and property fringes can become clogged and contribute to flooding. (Pictures by Rawle Culbard.) EARLY PREPARATION can help you to get home ahead of the last-minute traffic jam.
Clean drains to prevent flooding ONE OF THE FACTORS in flooding in some districts is the clogging of wells and drains and the ensuring pooling of water. Whereas Government does attempt to clean wells and drains, they do not stay that way for long, as accumulations of garbage indiscriminately discarded plus waste materials from construction, demolition or road/sidewalk repairs, and soil runoff, all combine to reclog the clear pathways that excess rainwater should be able to take. However, area residents can get together to keep their district clean of trash and help to avert major flooding. If necessary, Sanitation Services Authority (SSA) can be called and an arrangement made for a day when they can send trucks to pick up bulk garbage from everyone in the district. Able-bodied people and community groups can also offer to clean up the yards of the disabled, ill or geriatric people who have no family help or who cannot afford to pay for such work. When storm or hurricane warnings and watches are issued garbage should not be put out on sidewalks and verges as bags of trash will only add to the debris being washed around in flood waters. After the heavy weather has abated, and as long as roadways are passable, the SSA will resume pickups.
GARBAGE, cut grass, and other materials can clog drains.
AUGUST 28, 2011. SUNDAY SUN SPECIAL. 20 SHOCKS FROM ELECTRITICY and lightning will burn humans and can cause various degrees of damage, sometimes resulting in unconsciousness and coma or even death. For these reasons it is wise to take precautions to avoid both types of tragedies. Technicians who work with electricity and electricans are trained in the type of protective gear they need, including wearing rubber soled footwear, not having wet or damp hands, and turning off electrical power sources when doing installations and repairs. Most other people ignore the danger of coming into contact with live electricity. However, during and after storms and hurricanes, when some wires are down, and especially if in water, one can have a shocking experience if walking or wading in the water, especially if barefoot and not wearing rubber boots. Electrical appliances, especially if not connected to transformers or protective plugs to control resurges when the electrical supply
LIGHTNING and gasoline makes for an instant fire. Last year this fire at the Colonial Pipeline Company tank farm in the United States began after lightning struck a tank of gasoline. (FP)
WHEN lightning strikes a house it can cause damage to elecrtical equipment, or worse yet, a fire. (FP)
Wait for a break in the lightning activity and then move quickly into a building goes off and then returns precautions, and try to get trees or towers in an or car. may be affected, so it is best into a building, (patios and otherwise flat landscape. One should also be to turn off electricity when gazebos do not offer good Move far away from these careful when using the a storm or hurricane is near. protection) or a vehicle tall lightning attractors, at telephone, land line or cell, When bad weather (refraining from touching least by six or seven feet. comes along with lightning, metal), to avoid being struck. Crouching down to make during lightning, as there (usually followed by thunder) If out in the open, avoid yourself a shorter target may have been cases where the lightning conducts through people should take sensible standing close to isolated help you to avoid a strike,
the device and shocks the user. In any event, in order not to overwhelm networks, calls should be kept as short as possible. Reports of fallen trees, and electrical outages can always be made when the storm or hurricane has abated.
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Published on Aug 28, 2011