As residents await the Department of Disaster Management’s (DDM) full list of marine and land-based emergency shelters for the 2018 hurricane season, Bishop John Cline has said the doors of the newly-renovated New Life Baptist Church in Duffs Bottom would be open to the public in the event of a ‘crisis’.
The chapel had received more than half-a-million worth damage during the 2017 hurricane season.
But, with funds from insurance, and donations from close to five hundred church members and friends, the facility was successfully repaired. A little more than $400,000 was spent on renovations.
Meanwhile, the Save the Seed Energy Centre, which the church owns and which is located on the same property, is also available to be used as a hurricane shelter, Bishop Cline said.
“The Save the Seed Centre that withstood Irma can be designated as a storm shelter. It has proven its strength versus the church that was badly damaged in the storm,” he told BVI News today, June 12, when asked about using the property as an emergency shelter this year.
“But in the time of crisis, and if the need arises, the church certainly can be used.”
While responding to subsequent questions from BVI News, DDM Director Sharlene DaBreo said the Environmental Health and Public Works departments would have to inspect the structures before they could be declared as shelters.
DaBreo said emergency shelter standards include ensuring the structure has proper sleeping areas, secure bathrooms, among other things.
“We will have to reach out to the bishop and get the church inspected to see if it meets the standards,” she said.
“We don’t normally use the sanctuary. We usually use the hall, so the interest will be in the hall,” the DDM Director added.
The DDM last week released a list of ‘interim’ land-based emergency shelters in the territory.
The list comprises 19 named shelters and will be valid up till July 31.
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