Meet Strappy

Meet “Strappy” our friendly Hurricane Strap Mascot who is here to promote hurricane preparedness through safer roofing measures.

Strappy was born out of the vision of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) along with the support from the Department for International Development (DFID) under the Tropical Storm Gustav Recovery Project.

In 2008 Tropical Storm Gustav made landfall in Jamaica and leftover 1,500 houses in the Eastern region with severely damaged roofs. It was noted that most of the households which suffered damage were using poor materials, incorrect fasteners, and inadequate maintenance.  This type of damage is consistent with informal buildings of self-help patterns found in low-income communities throughout the country.

One Thousand One Hundred and Three (1,103) residents from Portland, St. Thomas, St. Mary, Kingston, and St. Andrew and St. Catherine have had their roofs made hurricane-proof by the Tropical Storm Gustav Recovery Project, having suffered from the Tropical Storm in 2008.

This year the ODPEM plans to teach more persons how to make their house more resistant to wind damage by using the Hurricane Strap. The hurricane strap has been proven and tested to be one of the easiest and simplest methods to use for hurricane proofing roofs. This can be done by correctly placing one or more on at every rafter of the roof and connecting it to the wall plate.

As the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season approaches the ODPEM will be highlighting Hurricane Preparedness Month in May 2010 and will be embarking on a series of activities with an aim to increase public awareness to minimize potential risks this hazard may cause. Strappy the Hurricane Strap Mascot is here to remind Jamaicans of the significance of hurricane preparedness measures and is encouraging the public to “Strap Dem Down!”