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Monday 14 October 2019
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TEMA: Safeguard your properties

TEMA director Allan Stewart
TEMA director Allan Stewart

Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) director Allan Stewart is urging citizens to safeguard their properties as the country is in the midst of the hurricane season.

"What I think we need to advise people is that we are in the peak period of the hurricane season and, therefore, activities to the east of us would become very, very active and, therefore, we need to prepare and not take any chances but make the necessary preparations to deal with these severe weather events and also possible cyclones that may either impact us or affect us one way or the other," he told Newsday.

Speaking in the wake of Tuesday's heavy rainfall in Tobago, which felled trees and utility poles, tore roofs from houses and caused road blockages in several villages, Stewart said damage assessments and needs analysis are still being carried out by the respective relief agencies.

"We would just keep following up with the various organisations like the DIQE (Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment) and do the necessary damage assessments and needs analysis, especially where those critical reports are concerned."

For example, he said a roof was damaged in the Pembroke and a tree fell on another roof in Buccoo.

"So, those are a couple of the reports that we are attending to in a particular manner so that a damage assessment and needs analysis could be established. But we have to keep our eyes on what is happening to the east of us so that we can do the necessary preparations."

Stewart said the agency has already compiled preliminary reports on some 14 recorded incidents on the island.

Regarding Tobago's humanitarian effort for the Bahamas, which was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month, Stewart urged people to give generously. The relief effort ends on Sunday.

"I encourage the humanitarian effort towards the Bahamas. That is very important. I encourage the public to ramp up the support a little bit."

Stewart said items, excluding clothes, could be dropped off at TEMA's Emergency Operations Centre, Fairfield Complex, Bacolet, and also at the agency's disaster relief warehouse at Signal Hill.

The Prime Minister announced at the post-Cabinet media briefing on September 5 the Government is donating US$.5 million to the relief effort in the Bahamas.

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