PAY ATTENTION TO STORM WARNINGS

September 30, 2016
Desmond McKenzie

Jamaicans are being warned not to view storm warnings as a cunning attempt to allow businesses to make money from the sale of non-perishable goods and emergency items.

Desmond McKenzie, the minister with responsibility for disaster preparedness, told THE WEEKEND STAR that from looking at the activities of Hurricane Matthew, which is heading in the direction of Jamaica, it is certain that the island will be hit.

"The country must understand and recognise that there has to be a responsive role by every single Jamaican, and so whenever the instructions come, whatever the instructions are, we are expecting that people are going to fully comply with them," McKenzie said.

Matthew could reach Jamaica by Sunday night if it continues on its current track.

McKenzie said that Jamaicans should not take the view that the issuing of a storm warning is a way to help merchants make money.

"Persons who think that way should dispense with that thought. If you look at what this system is doing in the other parts of the Lesser Antilles, and if you look at the pattern of this system, it is a clear indication that we cannot escape this system in some shape or form," McKenzie said.

"I just ask Jamaicans to be rational in their thinking and don't look at it as anybody is trying to make people make any money. It is about their own personal safety and their interest should be placed first and foremost against any other priorities," he added.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness late yesterday evening called an emergency meeting at his office to discuss preparation for the hurricane should it affect Jamaica in any way. Members of Parliament, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force, representatives of the ODPEM, and the MET Office were called to the meeting.

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