Monday, February 19, 2018

HDC activates disaster/emergency team

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) says it has activated a disaster and emergency coordinating team, to provide assistance to HDC homeowners affected by the impending tropical storm.

“We have pumps lined up for critical areas where we know there are rivers that can become blocked or narrowed and that normally lead to flooding in communities such as Gasparillo, Harmony Hall, Greenvale Park (La Horquetta), Oasis Greens (Chaguanas) and Oropune. We have also an evacuation plan in place where we are encouraging homeowners who might find themselves displaced to find shelters in accordance with the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) guidelines,” HDC corporate communications manager Maurisa Findlay told the Express.

She said the HDC is also keeping a close eye on much older HDC apartment complexes in Port of Spain, including George Street, Nelson Street, Duncan Street, where repair works to roofs are being conducted.

“That remains one of our major challenges but we have key managers with the skills to replace those roofs and we have a number of contractors lined up to move in with tarpaulin, scaffolding and equipment to cut trees,” she noted.

Findley added: “We have a fleet of four by four vehicles, we have drivers and we have a number of labourers from the daily-paid cadre on alert for inclusion in any sort of operation that we have to render to our communities.”

“Our plan is being activated in association with the ODPM and the regional bodies to ensure that there is support and continuance in what they do and in what we do to bring relief to residents within HDC communities.”

In keeping with the Tropical Storm Warning issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Office, HDC has also advised residents and homeowners in its communities across the country to:

- Pay attention to all Storm Warning Updates and Bulletins issued by the MET Office.
- Follow closely, all Guidelines and Bulletins issued by the ODPM.
- Download or write down the Emergency Contact Numbers for all Emergency Service providers in their respective districts.
- Monitor trusted news sources for storm notifications and warnings. Follow the directives of local officials.
- Safeguard young children. Give special attention to the elderly and the disabled in your community. Stay in touch with neighbours.