Hopefully the violence subsides as the entire country prepares for a storm that could be a hurricane by the time you wake up tomorrow.
Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane tonight and make landfall on the southeastern tip of Mexico on Tuesday night, just north of Ambergris Caye with projected winds of 86 miles per hour.
Again that is only a projection, and that's why The City Emergency Management Organization team says they are prepared for anything that comes.
This afternoon CEMO held a press conference where they highlighted their plan of action for Belize City and also emphasized the importance of preparations.
Mayor Darrell Bradley
"The issue that I want to communicate is that persons need to cooperate with us. This is why we are putting in place all the plans today. When we issue the advisory that these shelters will be open and we are monitoring with NEMO to decide on an appropriate time that that will be done - if anything that will be done sometime tomorrow."
"When we indicate to persons that these shelters are open they then need to take it upon themselves to move and to move quickly. when we think about hurricane and about hurricane preparedness we need everybody to participate. this is the reason we have call a press conference to advised the public exactly what we are doing and what they need to be doing. If they determine that they have to go to a shelter - make that decision very quickly and as soon as the hurricane shelter is open then they move into the hurricane shelter immediately."
"When the storm is upon us - that is no time for persons to be thinking about whether or not they should move into a hurricane and I think that this is some of the issues that occurred on the last occasion. It was too late and we have to make decisions as to the safety of our own personnel, so we are asking residents to really cooperate with us. If you make a decision you will feel more comfortable in a hurricane shelter - as soon as the shelter is open find your way smoothly and safely to the hurricane shelter."
Phillip Willoughby - Councillor in charge of Security and CEMO
"Namely for the north side there is: Pallotti High School, All Saints Primary School, Trinity Methodist Primary School, UB Education Campus, behind West Landivar next to UWI."
"For south side you have: Saint John's Vianney, Grace Primary School, Salvation Army Primary School, Queen Square Primary School, St. Michael's High School and Presbyterian Primary School behind Lord Ridge Cemetery. Those are the shelters for Southside. I missed St. Martin's de Porres and St. Luke Methodist School also. Those are the shelters."
Mayor Darrell Bradley
"Over the course of our hurricane preparedness we've been planning for this for a long time. All those shelters that councilor Willoughby indicated are fully prepared to meet up to a category 2 hurricane. In the event of a category 2 we have taken a decision that we will evacuate Belize City. I don't know if residents want to stay but we will not be here. Our projections are that if the hurricane does hit Belize City it will hit as a category 1. We are fully prepared, those shelters can withstand a category 1 hurricane. What I have put into effect is the preparedness for the shelters. So City Council employees, our works and sanitation departments went into those shelters this morning - they are going to be responsible for taking all the desks and putting them in a certain area so that people who inhabit the shelters wont damage the area and of course they're doing the cleaning and different things like that, so that's the kind of preparation that is going on as we speak and I am supposed to get a report on that at 3 o' clock this afternoon."
"All those persons who are coming into Belize City from the islands - I indicated that there is a voluntary evacuation - those persons who come from the islands and who will be evacuated will be bussed to shelters which are not in Belize City. We've actually coordinated it so some persons will be taken to Belmopan, some persons will be taken to Orange Walk and we actually have persons who are going to take them. We have shelters, we are coordinating - it's a national effort and the City Emergency Management Organization is doing its part in coordination and as directed by NEMO to indicate that all those persons are bussed to the appropriate area. Our emergency already documents where every single person will go from San Pedro or Caye Caulker or the other islands. That plan does not call for them being housed in Belize City."
"The message that we want to communicate is that persons must listen very closely to the advisories that come out of NEMO and that come out of our offices and we are asking persons to cooperate with us as best as possible but we think in terms of the infrastructure that that would be able to withstand a category 1 hurricane and we are planning for that. We've also had some streets going on - we are dealing with our contractors in terms of ensuring that whatever works are out there that those things are remove as soon as possible so that that there is nothing that could be a projectile or missile or anything that could be damage. Our plan encompasses everything including infrastructure and preparations are well under for the safety of residents and property."
Preparation of shelters was completed by 3 this afternoon. According to CEMO, doors of the Belize City shelters will be opened as soon as NEMO gives the go-ahead.