Residents of communities located within the boundaries of Sandy Point through to Fig Tree and Newton Ground into Harris’, say they would gladly share details of NEMA’s mandate of Comprehensive Disaster Management, within their neighbourhoods.

Audience members were especially invited to converse with NEMA and local stakeholders at a forum intended to inform key businesses, vulnerable communities, media and residents on necessary roles and responsibilities of Government and non-Government agencies in response to the impact of a hazard or disaster. Residents were joined by Community Officers representing the Department of Social Development and NEMA District Volunteers on behalf of the targeted communities.

Public Relations Officer Vesta Southwell says that she is heartened by the interest shown by residents of Districts during the discussions.

“Over the years persons neglect the many attempts by NEMA to convene forums to discuss our combined efforts to manage disasters in our Federation,” she said, “but I do know that until we the CDM strategy and so recognise that everyone has a role to play in their own protection and safety when a hazards strikes, vulnerabilities to hazards will continue to increase and our resilience, decrease.”

Last week the CDM Awareness Campaign was initiated targeting Districts #3 and #4 at the Old Road Community Centre.

“It is true that we are completely committed to our remit (NEMA),” Vesta Southwell continued, “so continue we must whether persons pay attention or not. But for now, we continue to be challenged to get persons together to discuss their capacity to mitigate disasters, that is, until the last minute or weather or other systems threaten.”

The evening’s agenda comprised a presentation on the Tsunami hazard by Graeme Browne of the Department of Physical Planning and NEMA’s use of the CDM strategy to manage disasters, by Deputy National Disaster Coordinator (DNDC), Mrs. Claricia Langley-Stevens.

“If we were to interact with District #5 and #6 next week,” Mrs. Stevens said, “I am confident that the room would be filled to capacity because of the interest demonstrated by the attendees last night and their obvious commitment to be involved in the safety and security of not only their own families but the communities at large.”