Hurricane shelters capacity increased from 500 to 1,700 | THE DAILY HERALD

MARIGOT–The Collectivité reminds the population that capacity of the nine designated hurricane shelters has increased from 500 to 1,700 persons for this 2018 hurricane season. Not only has the capacity increased, but the facilities are safer, equipped and more comfortable, it assured.

It acknowledged that despite 10 months passing since Hurricane Irma, some families are still not living in hurricane-protected homes, in addition to 11,000 persons identified as living in coastal areas prone to severe flooding. Fortunately, many will be able to move out of these areas to stay with relatives in the event of another hurricane threat, but others will not be able to do so.

Therefore, the shelters are the solution. The reorganisation of the shelters and increasing the capacity was entrusted to Prevention of Natural Risks Department Director Charlotte Terrac. Increased safety and comfort were priorities this year.

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The list of shelters was identified, studied, and nine safe shelters were selected. Eight are buildings belonging to the Collectivité, including six schools, Cité Scolaire and the former Concordia Gendarmerie at the junction of Rue de Hollande and Rue de Concordia. The latter shelter is under construction, for a capacity of 200 people.

An evaluation of these eight shelters was carried out with engineers and architects from a design office, and it was decided to reinforce the security there to allay occupants’ fears, for better protection and better conditions of comfort.

All these buildings have concrete frames and any window openings will be closed. These shelters also have generators that permit them to be lit, and water will be pumped from tanks to the taps. Folding camp beds will be available for the most vulnerable people and shelters will have water, food (biscuits, bananas), a radio, flashlights and first-aid kits.

The ninth shelter is dedicated to 200 inhabitants of Cul-de-Sac and Anse Marcel.

Shelters will open their doors to the public at the time of a red alert.

It should be understood that while the shelter living conditions have improved, it will always be preferable and more comfortable to be staying with relatives or friends. The 1,700 spaces obviously cannot accommodate everybody. The advice is: if you have to leave your home in the event of a hurricane alert, contact relatives and friends first to see if they can accommodate you.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78784-hurricane-shelters-capacity-increased-from-500-to-1-700

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