by Linda Straker
- New format of communicating information to owners of mobile phones to be adopted
- Project anticipated to become reality conclusion of 2019 hurricane season
Winston Garraway, Minister Responsible for Disaster Management has disclosed that Grenada in the coming months is to adopt a new format of communicating information to owners of mobile phones whenever there is a hazard that will affect the island.
“What we are moving towards, we have over 70,000 persons with mobile phones. We think that this will be a good way of communicating to our nation as it relates to the approaching of a storm, a tsunami as the case might be. That’s where we are moving towards, to ensure that our people will have on time and real-time information, so they can make an informed decision on quality information,” Garraway disclosed during Tuesday’s post-cabinet briefing.
“Part of the system will be reaction, where on that platform they will be able to communicate with us. They may see something that they think should be highlighted, they will communicate that, there will be a feedback session on the platform — but that is where we heading, that is in the making and I am looking forward to it,” he said.
This project which will be funded by the World Bank is anticipated to become a reality by the conclusion of the 2019 hurricane season. “Within 6 months we will be looking at that, to have it ready,” he said.
At present, Grenada will receive notification of a tsunami through its partnership with the Pacific Early Warning System. In the event of an approaching tsunami they will disseminate information to local focal points which is the Met Office, while for hurricanes, information must be channelled from the Trinidad and Tobago Met Office to the Grenada Met Office.
Garraway also disclosed that he expected that the number of hurricane shelters will increase from the 111 that were qualified in 2018, because of work undertaken at places that were previously labelled as shelters, but had to be removed from the list.
The list was not officially available for Tuesday’s briefing due to a shortage of engineers who must be part of the inspection team.