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Aug 2, 2016

B.D.F. Prepare for Tropical Storm Earl

As you’ve seen, from all accounts Earl will be visiting Belize, arriving as an unwelcome guest sometime Wednesday night. NEMO has been activated since Monday, with shelters ready and all hands on deck, including the B.D.F.  News Five spoke to Commander David Jones to get an idea of the military’s deployment on the eve of the storm.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defence Force

“As soon as we’re informed that there is a storm and its definitely heading to Belize we will put in our activation plan looking at our observation posts, conservation posts, getting them into barracks and also getting all the vehicles fuelled, parked and prepared for any direction or assistance that is required for the country or any assistance that NEMO requires of us.”

 

Mike Rudon

“What role does the B.D.F. play in terms of for example the storm hits Belize City? What role would the B.D.F. play?”

 

David Jones

Brig. Gen. David Jones

“The main role that we would play is prior to the storm – evacuation. Getting people to safety before the storm has hit the country. So apart from the Coast Guard which assists with evacuation of the islands, we also have the same capabilities to get people from the islands as well – get them from San Pedro, Caye Caulker or whatever islands are out there that need to be evacuated. We can get them into Belize City as well. If Belize City is the place where it is going to hit or if they need to be evacuated to Belmopan we get them all the way there. So we have the boat capability, and we have the aircraft that can go to San Pedro and evacuate people. And then we have people on mainland Belize where we can evacuate people to the various shelters.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Does the B.D.F. also play a role in terms of security? We have seen unfortunately that in situations where there are disasters there is the criminal element which will take advantage. We could see a lot of looting, for example.”

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones

“Yes! It is also one of our roles. If there is a requirement for the Police to have extra security the B.D.F. is prepared to do that, especially in a time of natural disaster if there is any hurricane coming, especially after the storm has passed and sometimes even prior to the storm when people are evacuating the Police would request that we provide that additional security and the B.D.F. is well prepared to assist the Police if needs be.”

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