Monday, June 1st 2015. BMG: Belize City Mayor and chairperson of the Central Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) Darrell Bradley declared Belize City ready for the hurricane season after months of preparation and collaboration with national and non-governmental emergency Management organizations.
According to Bradley, the City’s contingency plans are in place for use of shelters and transport and evacuation among other things, and the Council’s workers have been trained to work with residents to minimize loss of life.
CEMO is also responsible for ensuring safe passage to evacuees from the outer islands like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.
Bradley stated that residents of the Old Capital remain primarily responsible for ensuring their safety and repeated that shelters are not intended to be comfortable or a crutch for more well-heeled residents.
CEMO has identified 13 shelters-5 on Northside and 8 on Southside-which are typically used for lower intensity hurricanes; for categories 3 and higher there is an evacuation plan in effect.
CEMO Coordinator Wayne Usher said the shelters were selected for location, design and structural integrity via a checklist as well as previous record with regard to hurricanes. A team including the city’s engineer and urban planner as well as support from the Ministry of Housing, Central Building Authority, and others using international standards.
Councilor Philip Willoughby, point man on emergency management, reminded residents to begin preparation and listen to local authorities for pertinent information.
The City will host a two day symposium and expo later this week at the Princess Hotel focusing on flood resilience.
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