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U.S. donates hurricane shelter equipment to St. Lucia

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September 10, 2020

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados The United States Embassy recently donated US $ 30,000 of hurricane shelter equipment to the National Emergency Management Organization of Saint Lucia (NEMO) to help prepare for the efforts preparation for future hurricane seasons.

This US-funded project will support the local purchase of 230 foam-covered mattresses that will be pre-positioned in the various community satellite warehouses in Saint Lucia, said Dorine Gustave, director of Saint Lucias NEMO. The mattresses will mainly be used to equip emergency shelters in vulnerable communities, to ensure that evacuees are properly housed.

The mattress donation, made possible through the US Southern Commands Humanitarian Assistance Program, aims to help NEMO provide shelter to vulnerable populations throughout Saint Lucia in the event of a hurricane, while ensuring that procedures at the shelter are COVID compliant. -19 physical distancing protocols.

As part of the Ministry of Health’s new COVID-19 shelter management protocols, to strengthen social distancing, a number of new shelters have been identified that must be fitted with beds to be fully functional, Gustave said. This initiative will strengthen the disaster response capacity of District Disaster Committees to mobilize within communities by stocking litter resources for use in emergency shelters and also to be distributed to support families. to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed by a disaster.

The humanitarian donation is one of many US-funded initiatives aimed at increasing the public safety, well-being and prosperity of Saint Lucia and other partners in the Eastern Caribbean. In 2019, the US Navy deployed its hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to Saint Lucia, where it provided free medical, optometric and dental services to more than 4,900 Saint Lucians.

Disaster preparedness and response is always a challenge, with the added complication of a COVID-19 environment, preparedness is even more vital, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Shane Moran, deputy cooperation officer. security at the U.S. Embassy in Barbados. This humanitarian donation reflects the continued commitment of the United States to the Eastern Caribbean during these difficult times.

Dorine Gustave, director of the National Emergency Management Organization of Saint Lucia, poses with mattresses donated by the United States Embassy during the unloading process in Saint Lucia. The $ 30,000 donation of 230 mattresses is designed to help ensure St. Lucia’s hurricane shelters are well prepared to receive vulnerable St. Lucians in the event of a major hurricane, while following COVID physical distancing protocols -19. (Photo courtesy of Saint Lucia NEMO)

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