A few dozen individuals on Virgin Gorda are playing their part in keeping residents safe by delivering food and other necessities to their homes during the ongoing 24-hour curfew period.
Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley said the team of individuals consists of persons from the BVI Red Cross, the Virgin Islands Search & Rescue, among others.
He said the ‘Response Team’ was initially formed as part of the island’s plan to become more independent, resilient and prepared following Hurricane Irma, which left Virgin Gorda incommunicado from the rest of the territory for several days.
“We, [therefore], decided to build a lot of resilience into the Virgin Gorda and Anegada communities,” Wheatley stated.
The team is able to deal with issues surrounding telecommunication, food distribution, among other things.
“We are at the lowest level of response right now, and we work hand-in-hand with the government’s response teams. So, for example, if the Family Support Network (FSN), has things to distribute on Virgin Gorda, they will deal with it. So whatever government is doing, the response team takes over.”
He continued: “There are three very important lessons we took away from that experience [of the 2017 hurricanes]. One — that preparedness must be a way of life. There is a general effort in the community for us to be prepared. Two — we learned to value the environment, to always keep it clean, and the third one is social cohesion and unity. So a lot of things we do is to nurture and foster these three things.”
The government announced their plan to team up with the FSN to provide needy families with food and other necessities during the territory-wide curfew.
While no cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed on Virgin Gorda, that island joins all others across the territory that have been placed under full lockdown until April 19.
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