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NEMA to put in place contingency plans for prompt medical response during hurricane season


By Devonne Cornelius

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Preparations are continuing for the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has contingency plans in place for people who travel between St. Kitts and Nevis for special medical attention. 

This is according to Mr. Abdias Samuel, the National Disaster Coordinator at NEMA. 

“A patient who may need to come over for dialysis may not be able to move. In the event we have to utilize the services of a helicopter, we have partners in the region. We have the military coordination center whereby there are a number of ships out at sea and once we need that resource, then we coordinate it through CDMEA [Caribbean Disaster Management Emergency Agency] and RSS [Regional Security System].

We could also have bilateral agreements with french and dutch St. Martin where we can request the services of airlift to be able to move our patients if necessary if our local coastguard may not be able to do it safely,” Mr. Samuel said. 

He added: “We ask individuals to be proactive. If they have to come to St. Kitts for medical services, we may have to have them, or do we take the treatment to them in Nevis. That discussion is ongoing and we have that partnership with NDMD [Nevis Disaster Management Department].”

Mr. Abdias Samuel, National Disaster Coordinator at NEMA; Mrs. Oureika Lennon-Petty, Planning Officer at NEMA; and Mr. Elmo Burke, Meteorologist at SCASPA at WINN FM Studio on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, after an interview on “Voices” with host Mr. Devonne Cornelius. 

NEMA is encouraging personal preparedness and family planning within households. Planning Officer at NEMA, Mrs. Oureika Lennon-Petty, provided details about what the personal preparedness and family plan should entail. 

“Family plan is one of the most important things that we NEMA consider when it comes to preparedness activity. It is a written document of the know-how – before, during, and after an impact. If you are speaking about hurricanes, it’s before and after. 

In that plan, you have who is responsible for what. Someone may be responsible for water, or for checking around the house, or making sure there is a stock of non-perishable items…,” said Mrs. Lennon-Petty while speaking on WINN’s “Voices” program on Wednesday, June 15. 

According to Mrs. Lennon-Petty, NEMA collaborates with the Department of Social Services to assist the most vulnerable people, including the elderly and the differently-abled, during the hurricane season. 

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on June 01 and will run until November 30. 


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