Tropical Storm Alex spares Belize

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 20, No. 26            July 1, 2010

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Boarding up the stores

The projected path had Belize right in Alex’s way

Saturday was dampened by intermittent showers

People head out to check out the beach

    With an area of concern brewing east of Belize, and heading in a projected path that would have placed the depression over the northern regions of Belize within approximately 48 hours, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) San Pedro/Caye Caulker mobilized all committee members, volunteers and public officers.

    On Friday June 25th at 8:00 am, NEMO called its first emergency meeting of the Emergency Operations Committee at the San Pedro Town Council’s conference room. Individuals presented included members from the various sectors of the community including the Police Force, Medical Unit, Port Authority, Education, Town Council, Caye Caulker NEMO representatives as well as members of the media.

    Members were quickly mobilized and a plan of action was underway. The media was informed of the possible threat and residents were advised to start making plans for the impending depression.

    By 7:00 am on Saturday June 26th, residents of both islands started their voluntary evacuations, as the depression had evolved to Tropical Storm (TS) Alex. A final count of voluntary evacuees resulted in an amount of over 1,500. At the onset of the storm, residents were informed of three shelters opened for use by residents in San Pedro; (San Pedro Roman Catholic School, San Pedro High School, and the Shalom Temple) and one in Caye Caulker (Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School).

    In an interview with Ms. Jeromey Timrose, NEMO Co-ordinator for San Pedro/Caye Caulker she told The San Pedro Sun, “I would say that the Emergency Committee did a splendid job mobilizing and working to keep the island and its residents safe; however there are some improvements that need to be worked out to our plan of action. I would also like to implore residents to start looking at their family emergency plan. If you don’t have one, start to put one together, make sure that every member of the family knows what they’re supposed to do in times of an emergency or disaster, people need to continue to voluntarily evacuate to safer areas. I also strongly advise that Liquor Store owners and establishments selling alcohol need to start adhering to orders being issued by NEMO, especially in regards to the sale of said product. In a disaster, individuals need to be completely clear minded and able to make conscious decisions to secure their safety. In the same token, I advise the general public to remain calm and be prepared.”

    NEMO San Pedro/Caye Caulker takes this opportunity to extend our deepest appreciation to all public officers, committee members and volunteers who worked diligently to secure the safety of both communities in this time of disaster.
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