October 12, 2016 – In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a meeting was called by the Department of Social Services under the leadership of Ettamae Jones, Director of Social Services Abaco Office, to discuss the various challenges associated with the storm.
Jones applauded the shelter managers for their resourcefulness and dedication to the shelters before, during, and after the storm. She also accepted suggestions from the managers to make future natural disaster preparations more effective.
Jones believes the country needs all civic organizations, private as well as the governmental agencies, on board in order to be more effective. The Department of Social Services will bring a few medical professionals to assist with disaster trauma many face after the storm.
Jones informed those at the meeting that in the not so distant future there will be some training for all shelter managers which will include first respondent, shelter managers advanced classes, and training classes that will be offered through NEMA and will benefit all of Abaco.
Each shelter manager was able to give their input on some of the challenges that they were up against, including the influx of people during the high of the storm, transporting the physically challenged and senior citizens, generator issues, communication between shelters and the command centre, first aid kits and more.