The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has released the list of this year’s hurricane shelters. The list comprises 65 structures which spread throughout the 17 disaster districts in Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda utilizes mostly schools and churches as hurricane shelters along with a few community centres and other buildings.
As part of a project undertaken by the Department of Environment, a few structures were selected for upgrading and added to this year’s list.
Among the improvements made were the installation of solar panels, hurricane shutters, water catchment facilities, ramps and extra bathroom space for the physically challenged.
NODS is reminding residents that when going to a public shelter they should take non-perishable or canned foods and water to last for at least three days, a change of clothes, bedding like sheet or blanket on which to sleep and personal hygiene items.
If children are part of the family staying at a shelter, items like games, toys and reading books would be ideal. Animals are not allowed in the shelters so alternate arrangements should be made for them.
Persons staying at shelters must adhere to guidelines that have been put in place for the efficient operation of the facilities. Public shelters are managed by a team of volunteers from the various District Disaster Committees that are part of the national disaster system coordinated by NODS.