Gov't Agencies, Led by D.H.S., Conduct First Round of Shelter Inspections Ahead of 2020 Hurricane Season

Disaster Preparedness Published On February 07, 2020 04:36 PM
Staff Consortium | February 07, 2020 04:36:59 PM

ST. CROIX — Department of Human Services Commissioner, Kimberley Causey- Gomez along with representatives from the American Red Cross, Department of Education, Department of Health, Office of the Governor – ADA Coordinator, VITEMA, FEMA, Virgin Islands Fire Services, and the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation conducted their first round of shelter inspections on St. Croix well in advance of hurricane season. 

The D.H.S. release did not say when, exactly, these inspections occurred, nonetheless it is well before the June 1 official start date of the 2020 Hurricane Season.

D.H.S. said initial shelter inspections were conducted early this year in order to ensure timely identification of issues and solutions. St. Thomas and St. John inspections will occur within the next thirty days.

D.H.S., VITEMA, and D.O.H. act as a safety net to provide shelter to individuals and families that may not be able to shelter in place or find shelter at their local church or community center, according to the release.

“Our comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach allows for timely preparedness, robust public education and execution of the plan”, Ms. Causey-Gomez said.

In the coming months, D.H.S. said it will be communicating with faith-based communities and churches, local businesses and the nonprofit community to identify and coalesce collective resources so that the department can help advertise that information during hurricane season.

“We want to be sure that not only physical structures and resources are in place but that people are armed with information and tools to make critical decisions during hurricane season,” she said.

Though 2019's monster hurricane, Dorian, impacted parts of the territory as a Category 1 storm, the USVI was spared the brunt of the storms deadly and destructive force. 

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