Belize Red Cross Prepares for Hurricane Season Amid Quiet Start to Season
A month and a half into the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season and Belize has fortunately still not seen any significant storm activity, but that hasn’t stopped entities within the national disaster response framework from preparing. The Belize Red Cross, an integral part of the country’s disaster response has been one of those entities hard at work preparing. Director General of the Red Cross Lily Bowman, spoke to Love News today, about how those preparations are going.
Lily Bowman, Director General at Belize Red Cross: “As we normally do every year, first of all, we get our volunteers and staff well not activated but on alert as the season begins. As a staff we go over our roles and responsibilities and what plans we will put in place. We have a disaster response plan so we activate that plan and we review it. We also start reaching out to partners. So we attend meetings that NEMO hold in preparation and readiness. We also are working with NEMO and other agencies to coordinate and come up with one common assessment software questionnaire. I mean, one common assessment questionnaire to be done through electronic means. This is to kind of harmonize the efforts that we have in the field to conduct assessments and the data we collect. And it is also to kind of prevent duplication of efforts which just keep us back from getting into the communities where they need us.”
Bowman said that the Red Cross is armed with many lessons learned following Hurricane Lisa last November that have helped guide decisions going forward. The Red Cross inaugurated its new Head Quarters in Belize City earlier today, which will serve as its command center when disaster relief efforts become necessary. The old headquarters reportedly took in as much as three feet of water during the last hurricane.