The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) has embarked on an aggressive approach to educate the public on actions to be taken in the event of a disaster through the revitalisation of its Public Education and Information Committee.
NaDMA is the body charged with the responsibility of coordinating all disaster-related activities on Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
It is also a department within the Office of the Prime Minister that is headed by Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The new sensitisation drive is in keeping with the National Disaster Plan, Final Draft 2011 and is geared at facilitating a better distribution of services and as a method of streamlining and coordinating all services within the country.
The revived Committee comprising representatives from the Grenada Red Cross Society, local media outlets, voluntary organisations and the Meteorological Service, among others, held ifs first meeting last week Wednesday at NaDMA’s headquarters, Fort Frederick, Richmond Hill, St. George.
In underscoring the important role the media plays in the education process and noting the poor turn out for last Wednesday’s meeting, Committee Chairman, Trevor Thwaites called on media organisations to get involved in the process.
He admitted that the former committee was inactive as its members were negligent.
“This is our first meeting in about a year and a half. We were really dormant…there was a widespread committee with members from the media, education, health, works…and they were not coming. I don’t know for what reason,” Thwaites told THE NEW TODAY following last week’s meeting.
“It’s all about sensitising people as to the sort of actions they need to take to preserve their lives and the country – the economy, so to speak,” he added.
NaDMA’s Technical Officer, Kemron Dufont pointed out that the Agency “does not have a designate Public Relations Officer at this point,” which he went on to acknowledge “would be helpful” in getting the NaDMA message out there.
Dufont said: “As it is we have the committee” asserting that “once we can get all the members involved and active and sending out the information…it would go a long way.”
Acting Chief Education Officer, Elvis Morain who also attended the meeting suggested using other mediums to bombard the public with information, such as popping educational quotes, slogans and clips in the middle of national events and popular radio and television shows.
“You know one of the things I always find strange about Grenada, we are not taking interest,” he said, adding so NaDMA can prepare the clips and run it in the middle of national events…it doesn’t have to be long; or we can even have jingles.”
NaDMA’s mission is to reduce the loss of life and property within Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique by ensuring that adequate preparedness, response and mitigation measures are in place to deal with the impact of hazards.
Its vision is to develop a culture of prevention and safety among all sectors of society.
The government-appointed committee is tasked with helping design/update an emergency public information and education plan and to disseminate accurate and updated information to the public in an efficient manner during and after any type of emergency or disaster situations or threats to the country.