The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) is urging the country to be prepared for bad weather associated with the passing of a strong tropical wave in the Atlantic that has the potential to form into a tropical depression over the next 48-72 hours.
The ODPM noted that an Adverse Weather Alert #1 – Yellow Level is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago until Monday at 10am.
The agency said combined, the weather systems have the potential to produce heavy rainfall and gusty winds to Trinidad and Tobago, resulting in street/flash flooding, residential flooding and landslides, compounded by saturated soil.
Ponding is possible in low-lying areas and unsecured items may become displaced by strong winds, while electrical discharges are also possible during thunderstorms.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ODPM, Major General (Retired) Rodney Smart, is appealing to the public to put measures in place to prepare for the passage of both weather systems and to continue to prepare for the Wet and Hurricane Seasons.
Despite these conditions, Trinidad and Tobago is not under any Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch or Warning.
In anticipation of worsening weather conditions, the ODPM has alerted the Disaster Management Units (DMUs) of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), along with the other first response agencies.
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force is also on alert. These agencies have activated their emergency plans and stand ready to coordinate response as the need arises.
In the event Emergency Shelters are required, the Disaster Management Units will open these strategically, to provide alternative shelter for the vulnerable should it become necessary.
Prevention and preparedness recommendations are highlighted below and citizens are encouraged to implement these in order to reduce the impact of hazards and ensure greater resilience for their families and communities.
The ODPM urged people to look out for those in their community who are vulnerable and need assistance in becoming prepared.
Precautionary recommendations for citizens to follow:
Know and reduce your risks
1. Continue to monitor the ODPM and TTMS websites (www.odpm.gov.tt or https://www.metoffice.gov.tt), and social media profiles for weather forecasts, alerts, warnings, guidelines and cancellations.
2. Reduce hazards in and around your property, such as overhanging trees, clogged drains, unsecured roof sheetings and any items that can become missiles during high winds.
Make/ Review Emergency/Business Continuity Plan
3. Discuss with family members what actions they should take if impacted by hazards arising from the adverse weather.
4. Ensure necessary contact information is written, secured and available to your family members.
5. Discuss easily accessible and safe locations to meet in the event that you are separated.
Prepare Emergency Resources
6. Assemble emergency supplies to last at least 3 – 7 days.
7. In light of COVID-19 guidelines, include extra face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers in your emergency kits or grab and go bags.
8. Store all your important documents in a waterproof bag.
Get Involved and Assist Others
9. Take action around your property- clear gutters and drains.
10. Assist neighbours and the elderly in prevention and preparedness activities.
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