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Jul 26, 2012

CEMO presents disaster plans to NEMO Minister and Coordinator

Godwin Hulse

The City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, the municipal arm of the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, is gearing up for any disaster this season. This morning, a presentation was held at City Hall where the disaster preparedness and relief plan were discussed. The CEMO team outlined various hurricane shelters across the city, their capacity, as well as the evacuation routes. As you know by now, this station will be command center for CEMO in the event of a disaster. Present at the meeting were officials from the Belize City Council, stakeholders in CEMO, Minister Godwin Hulse, as well as National Emergency Coordinator Noreen Fairweather.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister Responsible for NEMO

“Majority of our citizens, I get the sense that many of our citizens have slinked into a complete dependency with respect to everything that happens especially when it comes to disaster and any kind of difficulty they suffer. And so I wanted to and I’m continuously saying this; to lay out to all the groups that the greatest preparedness to my mind is to prepare our citizens to understand that the first responder is themselves. I have had calls from across the nation for every little flood. The one that sticks out in my mind is someone’s yard that was flooded simply because the drain at the end of his street had garbage. And he didn’t see it his responsibility to move the garbage. He saw it NEMO’s responsibility to get the flood out of his yard. I’m not here to discuss how we’ve gotten into this culture, but to simply say that in all we do, the citizens of this nation must recognize that the first responder is themselves. When they cannot no longer help themselves, then they call on the state at different levels—the state at the village level, the state at the City level and then the state at the national level. Our ministry, through our coordinator who has worked tirelessly, is one of my few department heads that I always find in the office after six o’clock—always trying to make sure that we can respond within the limited resources that we have. So we are very happy to see CEMO as a middle layer responder for the City having this symposium today to sensitize all of us as to how prepared they are. And to assure you that the national management organization is ready to and always prepared to link with you post haste to support you where you cannot or where your resources end. And I hope that it goes down in that chain. In terms of the persons who are physically or mentally challenged—in terms of getting into shelters—we’ve made a note because it is an area that we must address. One of the things that I am cognizant of is the changing technology. And I was saying to Misses Margaret McKenzie a while ago that today’s technology affords us absolutely quick information and response.”

 

And while there is absolute need for preparedness, it is forecasted that the season be average to below average. 

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1 Response for “CEMO presents disaster plans to NEMO Minister and Coordinator”

  1. Belizean says:

    I absolutely agree with Minister Hulse. The belizean people are so so dependent, ridiculously dependent. We can actually help ourselves on the most part you know. If we want to wait on the organizations to sweep our house, clean the backyard, etc, our surroundings will become desolate and nasty. Lets work together and be creative. If each one picks up his own garbage, each week, there would be a black to white difference in our country. And garbage is just one aspect. Oh, by the way, I do expect Rod to comment here and blame the Govt for the smallest flood that comes to his backyard, haha

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