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TCI already preparing for ‘Above Average’ Atlantic Hurricane Season says Minister Missick

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#TurksandCaicos, April 5, 2021 – A National Hurricane preparedness meeting was held early in March and now the Public Works Department is doing its part in order to ready the country for what is forecast to be an above average Atlantic Hurricane season, informed Hon. Akierra Missick, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing, Planning and Physical Development. 

“Mr. Speaker, my team and I participated in the First National Hurricane Preparedness meeting on March 9, 2021, and as a result of that meeting Mr. Speaker, Public Works Department has already begun to prepare the required checklist of works to be carried out for this year’s Hurricane Season, which is again predicted to be very active.

Mr. Speaker, as a part of that checklist, our team has already completed the inspection of all shelters. Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform this Honourable House that a number of Government owned shelters have recently been refurbished and outfitted with standby generators, with the assistance of a generous donation from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO),” said Hon Akierra Missick on March 30, in the House of Assembly, Grand Turk.

Shelters have already been inspected and will get the mandatory equipment to be readied ahead of National Hurricane Preparedness month, traditionally commemorated in May in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Mr. Speaker, the remainder of Government Approved and Private Shelters require minor repair works, which are being scoped and prepared to be sent our through the Public Procurement Process (PPP for quotations.

Mr. Speaker, it is our intention to procure fire extinguishers (which are a requirement) for all of our shelters in the new Financial Year. As a result of the protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health Mr. Speaker, additional washing stations and automatic hand sanitising machines are being procured for the all shelters to assist with the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, alerts for the approaching hurricane season are to begin on May 15, well ahead of the official start of the season on June 1, informed the National Hurricane Center. 

Additionally, businesses in the hurricane belt including the Americas, the Caribbean region and the United States are being advised to prepare for the worst.  Expert forecasts pin it down to 16-20 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes. Of the storms projected to reach hurricane strength, three to five are predicted to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher storms).

Turks and Caicos, having had a dismal encounter with Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September of 2017 is working toward boosting resource capacity at Public Works and the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies, DDME advised the Minister.

“Mr. Speaker, also by way of information, the Ministry of Infrastructure is in the process of procuring new Satellite Phones and Handheld Radios for our offices throughout the islands, these would ensure that we are able to be in contact with staff during and following the passage of a storm.

Mr. Speaker, the final update I would like to give by way of purchases that we have made to assist us in our Disaster Preparedness efforts, is to advise that the Public Works Department has procured several pieces of heavy equipment, inclusive of a tractor with attachments, portable fuel tanks, verge cutters and mulching machines.

The new heavy duty equipment and communications systems are expected, said Minister Missick, to be in country by July. 

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FLOW CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM INCREASED SPEEDS

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New upload speeds to improve online gaming, video conferencing & Online Voice Calls

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS, JUNE 24, 2022 – Flow TCI wishes to remind customers of a broadband speed increase to our existing broadband plans, which took effect on April 25th, 2022. An incremental rate increase for the new higher speed plans has taken effect.

The rates were increased by US$4 for the following plans and the download and upload speeds will increase by the following allotments:

All customers will be migrated from all previous fixed broadband plans to the new broadband Fibre to the Home plans. The new speeds will improve the overall broadband experience for all customers for online gaming, voice over IP calling, video conferencing, and social media usage.

For more information on our new Fibre to the Home plans, visit https://discoverflow.co/turks-and-caicos/broadband-overview for more details.

 

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2022 Hurricane Preparedness Exposition

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“Mission Ready – Pledge to Prepare; Be Smart Take Part”

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 23, 2022 – The Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) will be hosting its 3rd Hurricane Preparedness Exposition on 1st July 2022 from 10:00 am at the Town Centre Mall, Parking Lot, Downtown, Providenciales.

The Hurricane Preparedness Expo will feature booths from over twenty-five different agencies, partners and public safety officials this year. The event provides critical stakeholders with roles in disaster management an opportunity to interact with the public, demonstrate their services, and guide individuals and businesses on how they can prepare for this hurricane season.

The goal is to ensure residents are ready should a hurricane impact our region by offering a one-stop shop for the general public to gather helpful information and ask their hurricane and storm-related questions.

We ask all residents to come out and participate in this preparedness event. The event is free, fun and educational with tons of giveaways, including the chance to win a Graceway Smart Supermarket Hurricane Supplies Shopping Spree on 1st July 2022.

This venture also encompasses the principles of Public-Private Partnership, as it demonstrates the Disaster Risk Reduction commitment of the private sector in the Turks and Caicos Islands. It also highlight’s the Public Sector Department’s determination to ensure all major entities are involved in its goal of building a resilient country.

The Hurricane Preparedness Expo will be on Friday, 1st July 2022, at the Town Centre Mall, Parking Lot, Downtown, Providenciales, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. We look forward to your participation.

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Worst time to be a Woman; a Haitian crises

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Magnetic Media 

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 24, 2022 – I know many of us are frustrated by the reports of illegal vessels breaching our waters, landing on our shores, costing us in repatriation expenses and overwhelming our small states and we’re not wrong to be bent out of shape by it.  However there are many facets to this maddening issue to sound alarms and from what I’m told and because of what I have noticed, the number of women increasingly taking the risk to runaway confirms the heartbreaking truth that abuses of this vulnerable group are escalating in frequency and violence.

A teenager, pregnant jumped from a balcony in Blue Hills (TCI) in desperation to escape pursuing law enforcers; it was dark, she could have died, she was hospitalized then sent back.

Turks and Caicos Police ‘stop & search’ operations are capturing many women; women who are trying to get to a job site in the many illegal jitneys moving around the town.

Sure it is all illegal, however it remains gut wrenching that these skittish ladies would have started the day on the hustle for a little cash only to be caught, with no document affirming legal status breaking the law. They will be deported and life will change, likely for the worse.

Haiti’s instability is driving the exodus of Haitian people.  The plummeting quality of life is pushing the “irregular migrants” as they are labelled to board boats, take to the ocean in pitch black conditions, driven by a desperate home.

Some make it, some do not.

The only death recorded or reported at the TCI detention center in years was this month; it was a Haitian woman. We don’t know what went wrong. But a journey toward a better life ended with the loss of hers.

I come from a set of nations – The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands – which have ensured I have a place.  Whether that’s school or college or a job or as an entrepreneur, room was made for me and laws are in place to enable and empower me. Not only do I have bread to eat, but I get to choose the type of bread I want to eat and can share it.

I am blessed. Truly.

But for my Haitian sisters, when you see their faces and the sadness in their eyes. When the human spirit is so shattered that it creeps into the dankest of places which is utter hopelessness, we should sit up and stand up.  This should capture our attentions.

In fact we should know, that for the hundreds we do encounter, there are countless more out there, unseen and trying to survive without being fortified by a force field of love, rule of law and simple decency.  There are too many more relentlessly buffeted by exploitation and circumstances outside of their control.

I suspect, this is the absolute worst time to be a woman or girl in Haiti. Just the worst.

Whether it is the recent memorial held to remember 11 Haitian women who perished at sea in early May trying to get in, undetected to Puerto Rico or a new and emerging report on describing the sexual abuse of Haitian women working at a factory; given sickening ultimatums:  Sex for their salary; an exploitation which usually draws throngs of people to vociferous protests in more developed countries; to this news however, there is silence and little reaction that we can see.

I declare that these women are significant.  They are valued despite the trials and tribulations of their homeland.  Within this dispensation, a post Black Lives Matter world, the darker complexion of many of their skins no longer means they are disposable.

And united, it means, women wherever we are can link hearts and hands to partake in and contribute to a shared stance of solidarity.  We can do it for the voiceless anywhere we want, we are women and though muted by the many dramas and truamas unfolding in our own lives, communities and countries, we still hear these voices crying and screaming out and we will help.

Just watch and see.  Women of Haiti, help is on the way.

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