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NEMO Preps for Hurricane Season

With just under nine weeks to go before the Atlantic Hurricane season officially starts, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) is tweaking their plan of action. A meeting was held at its Belmopan headquarters for specifically this purpose.Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: The National Emergency Management NEMO convened a national damage assessment committee meeting here at their conference room in Belmopan. The purpose of the meeting was to get the national committee organized and ready for the hurricane season. Sheldon Defour the National Coordinator for NEMO explained.


Sheldon Defour, National Coordinator, NEMO: “At the end of  it we recognized the need to have standardized forms to collect data when we’re doing damage assessment so that we have the appropriate information to make the right decisions. We also look at the need for having standard operating procedures at the district level so that when we’re working the district emergency committees are operating from one standard so that we are not making errors in the collection of data and the rolling out of our operations. So it was a very successful meeting in the sense that we got commitment from critical stakeholders which we need to participate in this process for NEMO. So I must say all in all it went pretty well. The meeting however is only one of many such meetings. NEMO has about thirteen national committees so so far we have managed to get four committees up and running of the thirteen. Some of the other committees are normally well within the construct of their ministries in terms of their operational readiness for example the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing they have their engineers, they have their systems in terms of accessing affected areas, clearing the roads and things like that so all in all they can quickly spring into action. What we do is we are more concerned about some of the more technical committees that require support from across the private and public sector and so those committees require much more coordination and much more planning and integration so those are the ones that we are focusing on first like housing and shelter, transport and evacuation, restoration of utilities, damage assessment which we did this morning and then in the coming weeks we’ll be looking at relief and supplies, education and warning and human resource management so that we have the critical committees of NEMO up and running and functioning before the hurricane season.”