BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 30, 2019– The Belize City Council’s emergency management arm (CEMO) held a press conference today to disseminate vital information to the public with regards to this year’s disaster preparedness plan for Hurricane Season 2019.
As we know, June 1 marks a crucial time for Belizeans, as we must remain on the alert for any impending storms and excessive rainfall until November 30.
Today, Mayor Bernard Wagner, Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold and Councilor of Sanitation, CEMO, Security Flood Mitigation and Climate Change Michael Norales, addressed the media concerning the preparations that have been made to safeguard city residents during this vulnerable time of the year. All three speakers emphasized that emergency preparedness is everyone’s business, and the City Council has carried out several projects to minimize any potential damage that may be caused during this rainy season.
Mayor Wagner touched on some of these projects, such as the dredging of all city canals from the South Side all the way into Phase 4 of Belama. CEMO has also aligned itself with the protocols of NEMO, and assigned thirteen subcommittees to assist in the revision of the hurricane plans and tsunami plans as well as evacuation routes in the event of disasters.
Other organizations which played an active role in the new and improved preparedness plan include Red Cross Belize, The Belize Defence Force, The Belize Fire Department and other front line emergency responders.
In addition, CEMO members as well as City Council personnel have attended trainings in first aid, shelter management, damage assessment and other areas to be able to assist the public in the event of disasters.
Councilor Norales also highlighted the fact that hurricanes aren’t the only disasters that we may be vulnerable to. The dredging of the canals was done to reduce the risk of flooding in low lying areas. Also, preparedness for fire-related incidents was also discussed.
To spread awareness and educate the general public on how to implement a strategy of precaution in their own homes, CEMO is hosting its first Disaster Preparedness Fair, which will be occurring simultaneously with the Super Sale on Saturday, June 1, on Albert Street.
Residents can go to the Battlefield Park to get information on how to be ready for impending natural disasters and they can receive a Disaster Packet with a printed copy of this information to keep in their homes.