Community leaders are being selected to shepherd residents on the sister islands in the event of future disasters like hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Leaders are being selected as part of a series of hurricane preparedness meetings on the sister islands.
The meetings are being held between stakeholders such as the BVI Red Cross, the Lions Club, the Department of Disaster Management, and residents.
Once community leaders are identified, they will be trained and equipped with debris clearing machines, food supplies for distribution, communication devices, among other disaster preparedness tools.
“We are going to empower these leaders to make sure that if it happens again, God forbid, that we are a lot better prepared,” said Sister Islands Coordinator Vincent Wheatley at the first meeting held on Virgin Gorda on Monday.
“We were not prepared at all with what happened with hurricanes Irma and Maria and in my mind, we were just very lucky and by the grace of God that all these elements fell together and we are here today,” he added.
Following the hurricanes, Virgin Gorda received overwhelming support from a number of international business gurus who had developed a fondness for the island.
But Wheatley warned residents not to take that assistance for granted.
“One of the things we want to do is to empower the communities. Last time we were very lucky. The community came together very genuinely and worked well. But going forward, we have to take this Bible principle of being our brother’s keeper a little more seriously. Not after disasters, but every single day of the year and even more so leading up towards hurricanes.”
He further called on residents to ensure that homes within the community are prepared for disasters.
“We have to make sure that if we are knocked down again, we can bounce back again and even in a shorter period of time, this time.”
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