Emergency Shelters Evaluated Ahead of the 2022 Hurricane Season

BNSI Supports Shelters Committee

It is interesting to note that the term Hurricane Shelters was historically used, however, this limits the potential scope of the shelter, hence the term now used, Emergency Shelter, is more appropriate for expanding its use for other emergencies.

For the year 2022, 43 buildings were assessed. After the evaluation, 32 shelters retained their status as Category 1 Emergency Shelters, and one (1) new shelter was recommended to be added to the list of Category 1 Emergency Shelters.

The Barbados National Standards Institution as a member of the Shelters Committee and part of the evaluation team for the assessment of Shelters has assisted in the innovative way shelter assessments have been carried out this year. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, evaluations were conducted in a hybrid manner with part of the team virtually collaborating with those on the ground using a virtual platform.  Post pandemic, this approach is expected to continue as it permits wider participation by team members. The assessments were carried out using predetermined criteria for Categories 1 and 2 Shelters. Primarily, Schools were assessed and also some private Shelters such as Churches.

Emergency Shelters for hurricanes are listed in two categories, Category 1 – Shelters that may be used during a hurricane, or other hazard event; and Category 2 – Shelters that may be used if there are still in a reasonable condition after a hazard event, or disaster.

For more information on Emergency Shelters in your area please contact the District Emergency Organisation, or the Department of Emergency Management, www.dem.gov.bb 

Submitted by Jonathan Platt, BNSI