KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday June 7, 2016 – Disasters such as hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions, and floods over the last 15 years have cost the Government and people of Jamaica more than $4 billion.
This was disclosed by Deputy Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Richard Thompson who said weather systems have had a significant negative impact on the country’s economy, physical and social infrastructure and the environment.
He added that while these disasters cannot be prevented, the country can plan to mitigate and effectively respond to them.
“So, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management continues to devise methodologies aimed at developing effective hazard mitigation strategies and programmes as well as prioritizing disaster risk reduction initiatives,” Thompson noted.
“These methodologies also serve to inform the Development Order, Land Use Zoning and the Development Planning process, which are tried and proven methods of infusing mitigation measures into development. It also provides a means for risk management to be addressed through these measures that serve to reduce the impact of disasters and ultimately build resilience.”
June 1 signaled the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which lasts until November 30.