Roughly a dozen land-based emergency shelters in the British Virgin Islands are currently being ‘assessed’ and another 14 are now undergoing repairs as the territory treads deeper in the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
That is according to the Director of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Sharleen DaBreo.
“We are looking at several buildings – there are about 12 others being looked at right now,” she said.
The DDM last week released what it described as an interim list of land-based emergency shelters that are valid up till July 31, and DaDreo said her department has been holding talks with owners of other structures that potentially could become shelters.
“We haven’t finished the consultation with the owners as yet … because every facility that is on that list; there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is written to secure the use of those facilities.”
“Some of them (owners) we are actually finalising that MoU and others; we are in discussions with right now,” she said.
Fourteen to be ready next month
In the meantime, the DDM Director said the 14 shelters now being repaired should be ready by July.
“We are hoping that within the next four to six weeks, we can have those repairs completed and added back to the list,” she said.
The government of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency are funding the repairs.
Meanwhile, DaBreo described the process of readying emergency shelters as ‘difficult,’ but said a few facilities are already in ‘excellent condition’.
As the BVI scrambles to complete preparations for the 2018 hurricane season, local authorities have said the territory will be fully prepared by the ‘peak of the season’.
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