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NEMA’s tips and advisories on floods and tornadoes

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NASSAU, The Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency has issued safety tips and advisories to educate residents on how to protect themselves in the event floods or tornadoes happen in their communities.It only takes a few minutes for rising water to become a flood. Hence, family members are being encouraged work together to develop a family plan so that the adults and the children know what to do.

This entails knowing how you are going to leave your house, where you going to, who you are going to and what items you are going to take with you.

When a watch is issued, residents must be ready to take action. When a flood warning is given, flooding has been reported and residents should take necessary precautions and actions at once.

Here are the following safety tips:

  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to higher ground, if you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Identify meeting place should you become separated.
  • Have itemized list of valuables and important documents in a safe place.
  • Plan to keep your pets in a safe environment.
  • Find out whether you are in a flood-prone area so as to determine whether you have to evacuate prior to the weather system.
  • Keep sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber handy for emergency waterproofing.

Residents are also cautioned that during the flood, to monitor the weather advisories issued by NEMA through the local radio and TV stations. Also, be aware of where emergency shelters are located. Disconnect electrical supplies and do not touch if wet or if standing in water.

Should residents have to move about, travel with care and do not attempt to sightsee, or drive over a flooded road. Do not underestimate the destructive path of fast-moving water.

After the flood, continue to listen to the radio or TV stations for instructions from NEMA. And upon entering your property, do not turn on electrical appliances until an electrician has checked the system and appliances. Also, throw away all food or medicines that have come into contact with floodwaters. Additionally, water is to be tested and boiled before drinking.

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Waterlogged Nassau inundated with rain; schools closed and vacations soggy

TORNADOES

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which NEMA subscribes to, basements and interior rooms are the safest places to be during a tornado.

A tornado watch is issued when conditions are favourable for producing one. Look for dark often-greenish sky, a wall cloud and large hail may appear.

Also look and listen for:

  • Strong winds. Frequent and intense lightning, and aloud roar like a jet or train.
  • A bulge like a circular motion at the base of the thunderstorm cloud.

Choose rooms on the northern and east sides of your shelter or home if no interior rooms are available. Take shelter within the bathtub.

Residents are to always wear shoes to protect their feet. Protect head and chest and crouch face to floor with hands behind their heads.

Other protective measures are to hide under study furniture. At schools, a shelter should be designated in interior rooms or hallways on the ground floor or lowest floor. In shopping malls, avoid large open rooms and seek smaller interior shops on the ground floor.

If residents are outside, seek shelter in a substantial structure, ditch or gutter.

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Cayman gets its second ‘Sir’; former Premier Alden McLaughlin knighted on Jan 1

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, January 20, 2022 – Former Premier of Cayman Alden McLaughlin was knighted at the start of 2022; named in the Queen’s New Year Honors List. He is only the second Caymanian to have ever received a knighthood from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Sir Vassel Johnson, received the honour in 1994; he was Cayman’s first Financial Secretary; he died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

Current Governor, Martyn Roper extended congratulations saying, “This is an outstanding personal achievement for former Premier McLaughlin, one of the most important and impactful political leaders in Cayman over the last 21 years. It is a significant moment for our islands. This historic award is only the second ever Knighthood to a Caymanian since the first in the 1990s. It is a strong signal of the respect in which Cayman is held and a visible demonstration of the progress Cayman has made as a vibrant democracy with strong good governance foundations.”

Sir McLaughlin, who is also now a QC attorney, served two terms as premier and had a career in politics that spanned 21 years. McLaughlin is known for his role in modernizing Cayman’s constitution.

Current premier G. Wayne Panton described the occasion as a unifying moment for the country saying, This is a day of celebration and great pride for all Caymanians as a son of our soil has been bestowed one of the highest honour.  Today marks a new and most unique storyline in the history of the Cayman Islands.  In considering the rarity and magnitude of this occasion, this is certainly a unifying moment for our community.”

Sir Alden McLaughlin, 60, was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George on January 1, 2022.

 

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