As Dominica undergoes this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season, shelter management is of critical importance. In order to ensure the safety and security of citizens, the National Emergency Planning Organization (NEPO) has provided 101 emergency shelters.

“We all know one of the primary functions of disaster risk management is that of saving lives and to a very lesser extent, property, and so if we are talking of life saving shelter management becomes very critical in that regard and so the state has the responsibility to provide the requisite to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry. Hence, the state has provided to the general population 101 emergency shelters for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season,” stated Shelter Coordinator for NEPO, Mr. Glenroy Toussaint.

All community shelters are in full preparedness mode during this Atlantic hurricane season. Shelter managers remain on the alert in the event of possible activation. Shelter teams have met, planned and organized assigned locations.  Shelter locations remain fully prepared and citizens are urged to carry along only necessary basic supplies when the need for occupancy arises. 

“We have put all shelter managers on alert for the possible activation of the shelters. If needs be they are already on the alert, shelter teams are meeting and the meeting is basically to ensure that we prepare the place. So we don’t wait the last minute to prepare the place so that persons can access the shelters as soon as they are activated,” Toussaint stated.

In efforts to safeguard the lives of all citizens the National Emergency Planning Organization advises the general public to make early use of the shelters provided, once they have been activated. To avoid any unforeseen circumstances citizens should refrain from waiting till the last moment to make their way to the shelters.

 “We know there is a lot of anxiety but all we are saying, please, we’re asking and encouraging the general public. Once we have activated the shelters, we are asking people to go to those shelters as soon as possible. Do not wait until you see the gusts of 65 miles per hour and rain of 4 inches or 8 inches and then that’s the time you want to go to the shelters. It may very well be too late and there’s often a saying that goes ‘too late shall be your cry,’ let us not allow too late to be our cry,” he added.