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Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 15, 2021 (SKNIS): As the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) continues its education and sensitization campaign during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season, officials from the National Emergency Operations Center were guests on the July 14, 2021 edition of SKNIS “Working For You”. Deputy National Disaster Coordinator Mrs. Claricia Langley-Stevens took the opportunity to urge persons to have a family emergency response plan as it would greatly aid in mitigating the impact of any disaster.  

“I believe that it is through education and awareness that we are going to champion the cause of the agency in terms of persons actually putting together a family plan. In the absence of a family plan, you are just sitting ducks waiting for something to happen to figure it out from there and that is not best practice. The agency through its communications unit continues to emphasize the importance of a family emergency response plan, and it’s not only for hurricane preparedness but also beyond that. It is just a conversation or beyond that with actions that your family members will know of and take as to what should be done at a given time in regard to what hazard you are responding to,” said Deputy National Disaster Coordinator Mrs. Langley-Stevens.

NEMA has previously announced that several storms are expected across the region during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The Deputy National Disaster Coordinator further called for a more responsible approach by the general public in relation to disaster preparedness.

“Start to identify who your NEMA representatives are in your community, get a contact number for them in case of an emergency situation. Persons must know where the shelters are located, where the approved shelters are within your NEMA district and community… It is important that before any action to wait for that “All clear” update. Because it means we are asking you to stay put until the NEOC indicates that it is okay to come outside since we would have sent persons to make sure that the environment is safe,” said Mrs. Langley-Stevens.

NEMA reiterated that an all-inclusive approach is needed on the part of both the agency and citizens and residents to ensure that in the event of any disaster the mantra from danger to safety rings true. The peak period for the Atlantic Hurricane Season is between the months of August and October 2021.

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