CLICK PLAY FOR LIVE STREAMING || REFRESH YOUR BROWSER IF STREAM IS NOT LOADING

 
Listen Live On Our Live Stream or Tune To Our Frequencies: 88.3 FM | 88.9 FM | 94.7 FM | 95.1 FM | 98.1 FM | 98.5 FM

BEL prepares for Hurricane season

Belize Electricity Limited has been preparing for this year’s hurricane season. For its Hurricane Preparedness Plan, the company is ensuring that light posts and electrical wires are not too close to trees. Hipolito Novelo reports.

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Believe it or not, trees are one of the leading causes of power outages here in Belize like this tree here catching on fire after being entangled in power lines. 

Sheena Garnett, Senior Corporate Communications Officer, BEL: “They are one of the leading causes for power outages even more so during a hurricane and even outside of the hurricane season.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: And the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season is upon us. Belize Electricity Limited, BEL, has been preparing in case of a disaster. BEL’s ultimate goal is to keep a stable supply of power to customers. 

Sheena Garnett, Senior Corporate Communications Officer, BEL: “One of the things in preparing is to ensure that your property, we start getting rid of debris. We look at the trees that are in your yards that could compromise the integrity of the power system. During a hurricane one of the main things for us is to ensure to keep power on as long as it’s possible and safe to do so.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Like prior years, this year BEL activated its Hurricane Preparedness plan. Part of that plan is to clear power lines from over arching tree branches or trees that have grown too close to these power lines. But what happens if the tree is in a private land and the owner is hesitant to it being trimmed or cut down? 

Ashton Webster, Manager of Distribution of Operation, BEL: “Normally we try to explain to you the hazards and we have, you know, videos, you know, pictures of what these hazards can cause. So we would be discussing with you privately the impacts that it can have not only on your life but you know, your children, your family, your kids, your family. So, it’s all in an effort to educate, right? To educate one on the hazards and try to see how we could safely remove that tree.” 

Sheena Garnett, Senior Corporate Communications Officer, BEL: “And Hipolito just to add to that, our whole Vegetation Management Program is one of conversation and education like what Ashton mentioned. So, if you do have sentimental attachments to these trees, which we’ve experienced and we totally understand, what we can do is just to educate you on the safety hazard that it holds, not only for you immediately but for the entire community.” 

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: And safety comes first. BEL is aware of this. As part of its hurricane restoration plan and after the All Clear is given, employees would then be dispatched to restore power. 

Ashton Webster, Manager of Distribution of Operation, BEL: In the event of a hurricane, we try to make sure that the power is on as much as possible, once the hurricane is upon us and once it gets to that stage where an area causes, or a damaged infrastructure causes blackout in a specific area, we would not try to address that issue until we have gotten the All Clear from NEMO. Right? So we have the Control Center which is our command centre here at BEL. They monitor our system 24/7, right, and they’re at a safe location during a hurricane so once that hurricane, like I said, is upon us, we try to make sure that we monitor these devices and our devices do protect lives, you know, out there. Whether the lines fall in the water or if someone is in close proximity to our power lines we do have protective devices that respond in a fraction of a second.”

Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: In a disaster response situation, a second is a lot. Reporting for Love News, Hipolito Novelo.