New Board for ODPEM to be announced soon Loop Jamaica

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A new Board for the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) will be announced early next week.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, made the announcement at a disaster preparedness town hall meeting, held at the Errol Flynn Marina, Port Antonio, Portland, on May 9.

The ODPEM is the national disaster organisation responsible for disaster management in Jamaica and has been charged with the responsibility for taking action to reduce the impact of disasters and emergencies on the Jamaican population and its economy.

“[The Board] will help to guide the organisation as we approach what the experts are predicting to be a very active hurricane season,” Mr. McKenzie said.

He noted that Jamaica is in the top-five countries in the world that are prone to natural disasters.

“I don’t know if the people… appreciate that Portand is in the top tier in Jamaica as one of the most disaster-risk parishes. Therefore, when we have town hall meetings of this nature and community meetings, we have them to pass on information, and it is important that the information that is given, you go back to your communities [and pass it on],” McKenzie said.

The Minister further informed that preparations for the hurricane season have already started, adding that several workshops have been held to look at the approach needed for the season.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30. Meteorological experts are forecasting an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season for 2024, attributing this uptick in activity to warmer ocean temperatures and favourable atmospheric conditions.

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