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Press Release From Independent Source

Parents in VI urged to prepare for Hurricane Season

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is reminding all parents and guardians to make the necessary preparations to safeguard their children this Hurricane Season. Photo: NAMI Gulf Coast
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- All parents and guardians are reminded to make the necessary preparations to safeguard their children this Hurricane Season.

Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Tasha K. Bertie said that better prepared parents and guardians will ensure that their children, and by extension, their families are safe and they will also have the necessary tools to address emergencies that may arise.

Ms Bertie said, “The storms of 2017 met us all ill-prepared, as no one could have predicted that magnitude of an impact and so we really want families to take heed and do not take anything for granted. The Ministry and the Social Development Department through a campaign is working closely with a number of partners and agencies; one of which is the United Nations Children Fund also known as UNICEF to ensure that we assist as many families in getting better prepared, especially during the Hurricane Season.”

Ms Bertie highlighted that as part of the campaign, a number of promotional items and tools will be available in the coming days and weeks. She added, “The Ministry of Health and Social Development in collaboration with our partners will be rolling out a number of public service announcements, demonstration videos, training sessions and even take-away items like a start-up emergency kits to help families prepare.”

Ms Bertie said that experts within the ministry understand that the storms of 2017 have left some residual feelings of anxiety as persons are still rebuilding; but residents must be prepared nonetheless to safeguard their families.

The following information is a checklist for parents provided by the Social Development Department and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).

  • Pack all essentials needed for children inclusive of medication, boots, gloves, raincoats, hand sanitizers and extra clothing.
  • Pack your children’s favorite toys, books, music and appliances especially electronics that are battery operated.
  • Talk to your child about what to expect if he or she has to go to a shelter.
  • Always develop a system beforehand with your child that would allow him or her to be identified if he or she becomes lost or separated from parents. Things such as taking photographs with camera or cellphones of official documentations such as birth certificates, passports or National Health Insurance identification cards.
  • Always ensure that children with special needs such as physical impairments have a system or help available to be evacuated such as a neighbour or relative.
  • Learn basic first aid skills such as Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) beforehand in case you or your child becomes ill during an emergency.
  • Always create a buddy system especially if they have large households to ensure that they are all accountable to one another.

Parents are advised in case of emergency, to call 911, 311 or the Social Development’s 24 hour hotline at 468-9371.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the Virgin Islands.


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