Government provided two useful bits of information on Tuesday. One is a list of shelters that will be used in the event of approaching serious inclement weather, published going into the usual peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The eight designated emergency shelters seem well-chosen enough regarding geographical distribution, although it is not entirely clear to what extent they have been made more storm-resistant. Their opening if needed will be announced beforehand and they are to include law enforcement personnel to keep order.
Interesting is the addition of five “recovery sites” where people can go once the natural disaster has struck. These are large sports halls obviously meant to temporarily house people forced to leave their homes due to damage, for which the regular shelters were not intended.
This resolves the problem that occurred at the time of Hurricane Irma, when the public had been told shelters would only be available afterwards. The latter was a mistake not likely to be repeated.
So at least in that sense it appears the country is better prepared this year, while investments in local emergency services from the Dutch-sponsored Trust Fund managed by the World Bank continue. The chance that, for example, local authorities will be left largely without effective communication means is much smaller than it was on September 6, 2017.
The other valuable release is one about the obligation to report occupational accidents. Although no connection with the incident was made, a man’s recent death when a wall where he was doing construction work collapsed on top of him shocked the community.
Many speculated that building safety guidelines requirements had probably not been fully applied, but one can’t judge without being privy to details on precisely what took place. An investigation is in any case underway.
Meanwhile, employers have now been told exactly what they are supposed to do if on-the-job accidents do occur. “I didn’t know” as an excuse is thus no longer valid.