The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is organising several activities for the month of January, to commemorate Earthquake Awareness Month.
Being observed under the theme ‘Drop, Cover, Hold, Earthquake Readiness Is Within Our Control’, the Earthquake Awareness Campaign was officially launched by ODPEM on Sunday, January 14.
Among the activities being planned are a Press Launch at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston and an earthquake awareness exhibition at parish libraries across the island on Tuesday, January 16.
Earthquake Awareness Day for schools and businesses will be on January 17 and 18, respectively.
The ODPEM is encouraging them to conduct earthquake safety drills.
On Friday, January 19, the ODPEM will carry out its own earthquake drill to highlight its readiness, while on January 25, it will host an earthquake symposium at Kingston High School to discuss the country’s level of readiness for seismic events.
The symposium will begin at 5:00 p.m.
A newspaper supplement will also be published on January 25 to promote and share earthquake safety awareness information and best practices.
The activities will culminate on January 31 with an Earthquake Roadshow dubbed, ‘Talk in the Park’.
This event will be held at the Portland Marina and is aimed at providing a unique opportunity for questions and answers about disaster related events.
A fact sheet issued by the ODPEM says that Jamaica’s geographic location along the northern margin of the Caribbean Plate and the presence of an active fault line makes the country vulnerable to earthquakes.
The agency also indicated that with the lasting impact of the October 30, 2023 earthquake, it is quite timely that the nation pause to reflect, share expertise and ensure preparedness for the threat of earthquakes.
Citizens are being urged to take the necessary precautions and arm themselves with knowledge and information about earthquakes.
Persons may contact the ODPEM via telephone at (876) 906-9674-5 or send an email to [email protected].
The ODPEM is the National Disaster Organisation responsible for disaster management in Jamaica and has been charged with the responsibility for taking action to reduce the impact of disasters and emergencies on the Jamaican population and its economy.
It plays a coordinating role in the execution of emergency response and relief operations in major disaster events.