To better prepare for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) held a meeting with committee members of San Pedro’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) on Thursday, July 18th. Held at San Pedro’s NEMO branch office, the meeting aimed to review the EOCs’ state of readiness and fine-tune their plan of action in the event of a storm or extreme rain.
The meeting began at 2:30PM and saw the attendance of NEMO Coordinator for Belize Rural South Vanessa Parham, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Councilor Ruben Gonzalez, Councilor Gaby Nuñez, Councilor Flora Ancona, San Pedro’s Health Inspector Christina Sanchez, Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II Administrator Eric Najarro, Deputy Officer of the Costal Unit Basil Reyes, San Pedro Tourist Guide Association and Rickilee Response and Rescue Chairperson Billy Leslie, representatives from various governmental and non-governmental organizations and invited guests.
After a short welcome and introduction by Parham, representatives from each EOC committee present shared their status regarding preparedness. Those in attendance also voiced concerns and made recommendations on how to better the island’s emergency plan of action. Meetings of this sort are held at all NEMO branches across the country. NEMO stresses the importance of EOCs to be prepared during this time, to avoid confusion during disasters while preserving life and property. Residents are asked to adhere to all warnings and notices posted by NEMO and the respective EOCs of their community.
This year’s hurricane season is predicated to be slightly below average, with a total of 13 named storms, five hurricanes, including two major storms. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season storms’ names are Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, and Wendy.
In the instance of a hurricane, island residents are informed that the establishments that will serve as shelters for San Pedro Town are San Pedro High School and New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School and Church. The San Pedro EOC can be contacted at 226-4458, 226-4358 or 226-4824. The NEMO office is located on the second floor of the Wings Department Store building on Coconut Drive. Parham can be contacted directly at 632-3698; the NEMO Emergency Hotline phone number is 936.
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