Trinityville, St. Thomas Launch Community Disaster PlanPosted On: Sep 17, 2009
Residents of Trinityville, St. Thomas are taking steps to ensure that they are prepared for all types of disasters. The community will launch its first-ever Community Disaster Plan at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, 18 September 2009 at the Robert Lightbourne High School.
The launch will follow a Community and Media Tour between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to observe impacts of natural hazards, and to discuss how community members are building on lessons learned from experience in order to reduce their vulnerability.
The Community Tour and Launch culminates a five-month community training and planning process facilitated by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) through its Building Disaster Resilient Communities Project which is being implemented with the support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Approximately 28, vulnerable communities island-wide will be trained in disaster management, how to develop disaster plans and how to implement mitigation projects.
Trinityville, as the pilot community has completed its disaster plan under the project. The plan sets out the community’s strategy for managing hazards and outlines its shelter, welfare and relief system. It also includes measures to ensure effective disaster preparation, response and recovery. The local disaster committee will work closely with the St. Thomas Parish Disaster Committee, which has representation from agencies such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Social Development Commission, the Jamaica Red Cross, Rural Agricultural Development Agency, Women’s Resource Outreach Centre and other non-governmental organizations.
Trinityville is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards; it is prone to landslides and is affected by flooding and bush fires. The area is often cut-off from other communities after heavy rains, a situation which becomes particularly bad after tropical storms and hurricanes. Trinityville is located in a seismically active zone and is therefore also susceptible to earthquakes. On 7 September 2009, it was at the epicentre of an earthquake measuring 3.2 along the Yallahs-Plantain Garden Fault Zone.
ODPEM’s Building Disaster Resilient Communities Project is developing a model for institutionalizing community capacity to reduce risk and respond effectively to disasters. Director General, Ronald Jackson, says, “The project supports ODPEM’s strategic focus of reducing risks and vulnerability through enhancing communities’ knowledge and capacity to mitigate, plan, prepare and manage adverse events.”
The community and media tour will showcase impacts of hazards and responses in three of the most vulnerable communities in the Trinityville area, namely Hillside, Mt. Lebanus, and Somerset, and will highlight community concerns about zoning and land use.
Contact: Delmares White
Director of Information and Training