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Rebuild homes with bunkers, gov’t told

This home is under repairs after being wrecked during the hurricanes.

Reinforced underground shelters or bunkers should be made mandatory when building homes in the British Virgin Islands.

Students from St George’s Secondary School (SGSS) made that suggestion while participating in the Education Ministry’s Recovery and Development Competition this week.

“We should make bunkers mandatory similarly to how cisterns are required,” they said.

The SGSS students further proposed that government implement a provisional incentive programme to get persons to comply.

Other recommendations 

Another recommendation from the young scholars was for government to rebuild schools and hurricane shelters with dome-shaped roofs to withstand higher wind forces.

“We should employ more inspectors to enforce and improve building practices,” they reasoned.

Their suggestions come more than five months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused severe damage to infrastructure across the territory.

Roughly 80 percent of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed during last year’s hurricanes.

In the meantime, the Recovery and Development Competition was created to give senior secondary students an opportunity to contribute to the territory’s recovery.

Elmore Stoutt High School were champions in the competition.

A number of suggestions that were vocalised during the competition might be included in the final draft of the territory’s recovery plan, the government has said.

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20 Comments

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  1. E. Leonard says:

    👍👍👍 to SGSS students, VI future planners, economists, engineers, doctors, teachers, architects, social scientists, construction contractors, agronomists, fisherfolks, politicians, lawyers, tradesmen ……….etc. Some great insights into mitigating potential hurricanes damages. Nonetheless, have to give the mandatory bunker suggestion some sober thought. In the mean time though, I would strongly suggest integrating a safe room into new construction and modifying/constructing a safe room into existing buildings.

    Congrats also to ESHS, the competition winner, along with other participating schools. It is important for people who will be affected by decision(s) to partake in the decision making; buy in from key stakeholders is critical for the success of any programme. Millennials, Gen Z ……..etc are the VI future and there should be a smooth passing of the baton. They are the VI’s North Star.

  2. true says:

    Does not make one bit of sense, a bunker in a country where flash floods happen all the time…….think about it?

    Now think of a wall in your elevated house(cistern underneath to elevate) without any windows, think of a walkin closet with concrete on 4 sides with just a doorway, now that is a secure bunker.

    • L says:

      I don’t think you know what a bunker is.

    • Disinterested says:

      @True, c’mon man, give the kids a well-deserve break. They are offering suggestions for solutions to a problem. The problem solving process comes with a myriad of solutions; the most probable one normally get implemented. We need to be encouraging and supporting the next generation of leaders, not shooting down their creativity.

      • Albion says:

        It’s great that kids come forward with new and novel ideas. But kids shouldn’t be afraid of constructive criticism and stress-testing of their ideas any more than adults should. That is all part of the brainstorming process.

        • Eggs Shells says:

          Not the Tortolan way I’m afraid the school kids get lavished with praise for mediocre results…which doesn’t prepare them well for the outside world – they should be encouraged for sure but equipped with realistic expectations of what will be required after college/school not pampered – that does them no favours

  3. Rubber duck says:

    Great places to drown in

  4. Really? says:

    Isn’t it more likely to get buried underground in a bunker in the event of an earthquake?

  5. Laura says:

    There are some events that simply cannot be planned for, let alone imagined, among those are case in point IrmaMaria 2017 hurricane disaster scenarios. But I think we need to be realistic without bankrupting people who have already lost everything. The easiest solution to ensure the safety during a storm is by rigging a safe space. It doesn’t necessarily need to be underground as it is possible to create an above ground safe room somewhere in the center of the house by reinforcing or stiffen the walls of a small space in the house such as a closet, or bathroom (sort of like a concrete box).

    • Retired says:

      I agree. A safe space in the building is what you need for a hurricane shelter. An earthquake (terremoto) is a different type of catastrophe with little or no warning where you want to get out of the building ASAP. If the building is on/near the coast then you need to move up the hills to escape the possible tsunami.

    • watcher says:

      Properly built houses survived. You need a properly built house designed for here. Well tied on solidly constructed four sloping sided Caribbean roof with no overhangs. Small windows with shutters. Solid doors. Exactly how the old timers built them. The totally out of place American and European architectural monstrosities we see everywhere mostly blew away. Learn the lesson.

  6. Hmmmmmm!! says:

    get ready for the Lords coming that is what I think we all needs to do!!!!!

  7. Help Me Please. says:

    I am not a negative being and my comment is not one of criticism. I was not at the competition for a good reason. Here me out. While I do not have all the suggestions from all the schools that entered, What was really the criteria for a winner to be chosen? seems to me that there were good ideas coming from all schools. Did all schools get even a consolation amount? What if one of the suggestions from one of the other schools that were not chosen actually be implemented, couldn’t that school have very well been the winner? Like I said I am not a negative person but I think we have to be very careful when it comes to children and others on competitions as such. Think about it. No Pun intended.

  8. VOLDAREN says:

    oK. Seize the time

  9. Visitor says:

    craisy ideas, -ok, when enough weed for everyone is planted you can go down there and await the floods.
    Is here on the BVI´s no one intelligent enough to make wise suggestions?

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