A preliminary list of buildings to be utilised as hurricane shelters this year has been published along with the names of the District Disaster Coordinators.
The list consists of forty-eight structures that are mainly schools and churches and covers the 17 disaster districts throughout Antigua and Barbuda.
Personnel from the Ministry of Works completed the inspection of the facilities bearing in mind their structural integrity and level of security.
A supplementary list is expected to be released when additional structures are made available.
It is important to note that not all communities have hurricane shelters and if the need arises residents are encouraged to utilize the shelter closest to their home.
The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) will be paying close attention to ensuring that families have adequate space considering the Covid-19 pandemic and that facilities are in place for adequate hygiene practices. However, disaster officials stress that sheltering with families should be the first option and unless it is necessary avoid going to the designated public shelters.
If going to a shelter, individuals must walk with non-perishable food such as canned foods along with water for drinking and other purposes, a change of clothes, personal needs, important documents and other necessary supplies including hand sanitizer. The wearing of mask is also mandatory.
Each shelter will be managed by a Shelter Manager, designated by the District Disaster Coordinator, who is the community’s representative for the National Office of Disaster Services.