Today is the start of the 2015 hurricane season. While below-average activity is expected, it only takes one to cause major disruption. As the country’s largest population center and with the most experience of the threat of hurricanes, Belize City is a focal point and the Central Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) a division of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) under the control of the Belize City Council, today hosted the press to declare itself ready for the season. CEMO Chairperson and Mayor Darrell Bradley speaks to the readiness of the City’s 13 selected hurricane shelters.
“The way emergency management is operated, there is a significant amount of collaboration and partnership and there is a significant amount of, if I can use the word, oversight. I know for a fact that when you do shelter management, there is a lot of international stake holders like P.A.H. who look at the country’s response. There is a criteria that is being developed in relation to what would be considered a shelter management .Also, if you noticed the list of shelters that would provided today and that Mr. Usher briefed on, these are buildings which have withstood hurricanes in the past so that one of the criteria, of course, will be looking at their structural integrity of the building, you are looking at its ability to house people in a very safe way, the roof, the walls…. An important feature likewise is that these buildings have withstood hurricanes in the past and there is a continues effort to rehabilitate these areas.”