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ODPEM Urges Persons To Adhere To Post-severe Weather Safeguards

JIS (July 5, 2024):

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is encouraging members of the public to observe critical post-sever weather safeguards.

After a severe weather system, citizens should continue to monitor updates from reliable, government-approved official communications channels.

Acting Director General, ODPEM, Richard Thompson, said the environment may be unsafe following a severe weather event, underscoring the need for members of the public to remain vigilant.

“Immediately after the event, if you’re going outside, wear hard boots or water boots… don’t go outside barefooted. [Where] there may be downed [or] broken power lines or broken water mains, call the relevant authorities. Don’t go touching power lines, this is dangerous,” he advised.

Mr. Thompson also pointed out that piped water may be compromised and urges persons not to use it for drinking or preparing food until it has been established that the amenity is not contaminated.

“Ensure that you use bottled or purified water to drink or prepare food. If you don’t have bottled water, you can boil [the water] or purify [it] with bleach, using the Ministry of Health’s recommended bleach/water ratio. Persons can also use water purification tablets,” he informed.

The following are additional safety tips:

– Persons should wait until roads are declared safe before entering, as corridors may be closed for their protection.

– Avoid weakened bridges, washed out roads and flooded areas.

– Avoid walking through standing water, as this may be electricity-charged by downed power lines.

– Stay on firm ground.

– Do not walk through moving water.

– Check gas, water, electrical lines and appliances.

– Avoid using candles and other open flames indoors; use a flashlight instead to inspect for damage.

– Do not use generators indoors or in enclosed spaces as this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

– Use emergency lines to report life-threatening emergencies.