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Residents Can Learn About Preparing for Disaster

Sept. 7, 2004 — As the anniversary of the Sept. 11 bombing of the World Trade Center draws near, Americans and Virgin Islanders alike will be asking themselves whether they can handle emergencies of that magnitude.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has declared September National Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools, according to a release from the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
Beginning Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies across the United States will promote activities to get residents prepared for disasters.
VITEMA, the local chapter of the American Red Cross and other V.I. organizations will follow suit with activities of their own to help prepare territory residents.
"We want everyone to be involved and participate in as many events as they can," VITEMA State Director Harold Baker said Tuesday.
Baker said agencies such as VITEMA and the Red Cross are ready to handle emergencies from a local perspective, but residents need to be ready as well.
"The main thing is to get people psychologically prepared for any disaster," Baker said.
To do this, VITEMA has scheduled a variety of activities to take place this month.
Here is a listing of the activities to take place on St. Croix:
– Thursday: Preparedness presentation at Herbert Grigg Home For the Aged, 10 a.m. – noon.
– Sept. 17: Preparedness workshop for public at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. hosted by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, V.I. Fire Services, V.I. Police Department, Department of Health, Water and Power Authority, Juan Luis Hospital, St. Croix Rescue and VITEMA.
– Sept. 18: Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) recruitment drive, VIALCO/American Red Cross presentation on family disaster planning, Sunny Isle Shopping Center, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– Sept. 18: American Red Cross disaster preparedness display at K-Mart Sunny Isles and Sunshine Mall, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
– Sept. 19: CERT, St. Croix Majorette Headquarters, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
– Sept. 20: VITEMA open house — presentations, videos, and display of responder vehicles, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
– Sept. 23-26: series of public service announcements on WJKC, WSTX, WIVH, WAVI, WVIQ and WRRA Radio.
– Sept. 26: Port Authority full-scale disaster emergency response exercise, Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
– Sept. 28: Preparedness presentation at Ricardo Richards School, 10 a.m. – noon.
– Sept. 29: Preparedness presentation at Sunny Isle Elderly Housing Community, 10 a.m. – noon.
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