In order to properly prepare for emergency situations, warehouses with emergency supplies such as food, communication devices and power generators will be set up across the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
This is being undertaken by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), following the 2017 disasters and the difficulties with acquiring and distributing emergency supplies that followed.
According to a press release, “The DDM will be using containers to store emergency relief contingency stocks that will be used for immediate response operations as a first step.”
The eight containers, which will be placed Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Sea Cow’s Bay, the western and eastern ends of Tortola, will be engineered to withstand high winds.
The Red Cross will be storing some of their supplies in these containers.
Community Relations Officer, Cecil Jeffrey related that, “One of the biggest challenges we had immediately following the impact from the 2017 disaster events was the inability to provide resources and basic relief to individuals, communities, Sister Islands and key agencies in an efficient and timely manner."
He stated that the establishment of these temporary structures "is a first step in addressing this issue and will provide immediate access to critical resources for affected communities within 24 to 36 hours after impact.”
It was further explained that the generators have been provided by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office“will soon be installed at various emergency shelters and critical locations.”
“The warehouses will be managed and maintained by the Department of Disaster Management in conjunction with District Officers and non-governmental organisations using the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Logistics Support System (LSS),” the missive further stated.
The Community Relations Officer expressed thanks to the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the BVI Red Cross for their donations, as well as Cabinet for the funds approved to secure the containers and supplies.