Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2013 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 5, 2013
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Before a hurricane:
Know the location of the nearest emergency shelter in your area.
Trim the trees in your yard,so limbs won't fly around during a
If you have hurricane shutters, inspect them now and repair dam-
Know the location of the main electrical breaker and the gas and
water valves in your home.
Make a list of the items in and around your yard to bring in or tie
down when a tropical storm or hurricane approaches. For exam-
ple: TV antenna, plants, garbage cans and yard furniture.
Check your insurance policy for coverage on wind and flood dam-
age, especially if you're in a low-lying area.
Keep a portable radio, flashlight (both with extra batteries),
emergency supplies, first aid kit, canned food and bottled water
on hand throughout the hurricane season.
Keep yourself updated as to the weather conditions and the pos-
sibilities of severe weather.
Have your emergency numbers at hand and in a convenient loca-
Designate an interior room with no windows or external doors as
a "Safe Room."
Determine escape routes and places to meet if separated.
Have an out-of-the-area-friend as a family contact so all have a
single point of contact and someone knows where you are.
Make a plan for your pets if you need to evacuate.
Take First Aid and CPR Classes. Your Red Cross can provide you
with the same.
When a hurricane approaches:
A hurricane watch is given when the hurricane is possible within
When a hurricane is 24 hours away, a hurricane warning is issued.
Hurricane landfall is imminent.
When a hurricane warning is issued, you should board up your
windows and doors, bring in loose items from outside, shut off
electrical, gas and water hook-ups and seek safe shelter.
During a hurricane:
Stay away from windows and stay inside if you are not told to
Beware that the centre of a hurricane, or the eye, can be very
calm and deceptive. When the eye passes, the storm is not over.
Stay inside because the fury of the winds will return, this time
from the opposite direction.
Remain in your safe location until the storm has passed com-
pletely and the all clear has been given.
Are you ready for ahurricane?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
As we brace for the unpredictability of
the hurricane season, it is important
to be prepared. Here are some simple
steps to help protect your family from
a storm or hurricane.
T&T Red Cross Society
The world changed yet in T&T
things remain the same. No longer
is the developmental model based
on individual needs, ego, greed and
money talks acceptable.
The world has rejected crimes of
corruption and nepotism through
the revolving doors of corporate
sponsors and political opportunists
who took self-serving charge over
whole countries and global
People elsewhere are rejecting their
governments for betrayal of the pub-
lic good and are insisting that social
and environmental needs stand up
and be counted at the table of deci-
sion making. Mass protests have
forced these socio-environmental
needs to not only become political,
but also remove sitting governments.
Environmental protection and pol-
lution control are rarely political in
T&T save for in the last election
when community based smelter
wars against Alcoa and Alutrint took
front page along with crime and cor-
ruption. Change was promised, a
Green Manifesto was written, and
a "partnership" pact with the people
emerged. To achieve our goal of
national well-being for all, we have
to face and manage a complex matrix
of ever changing inter-connected
geopolitical, social and technological.
Each component is as important as
the other and each capable of under-
mining or reinforcing the other. Risks
increase as we lose sight of the whole
picture and focus on one or another
component. Our national well-being
depends on how we use our natural
resources. This usage depends on
our values and our economic sys-
T&T has adopted an open mar-
ket--- least cost development system.
The primary earner is gas and oil.
The state spends the rent earned
from gas/oil production on infra-
structure and on creating opportu-
nity for citizens.
Private interests have developed
a market for all sorts of goods and
services which we consume if we
can afford to. There are no limits on
possible wealth and poverty. The
state then seeks to alleviate poverty
through subsidies and allowances.
The wealthy are a special interest
group which can shape politics. We
too have revolving doors.
In T&T, social well-being is meas-
ured by affordable housing, and
access to health, education, clean
water, proper sanitation and trans-
port infrastructure. In T&T we are
struggling to have social needs met
yet we have all the resources required
to do so.
Based on the news, crime and cor-
ruption are rampant at every level
of our society. Little is reported on
environmental issues unless there is
a catastrophe. How then do we move
towards our goal of national well-
being for all?
The answer lies in all of us. We
need to see ourselves as inter-con-
nected, inter-dependent. We need
to be custodians of each other. We
need to collaborate and co-operate.
We are not competing with each
other to achieve national well-being.
We need also to learn from nature
---plants need animals and animals
need plants---plants live by consum-
ing carbon dioxide and releasing
oxygen. Animals live by consuming
this oxygen and releasing carbon
dioxide. Together they make the
fragile balance of local-global ecosys-
Humans are special animals. Our
happiness and positivity depends on
our ability to wisely use and preserve
nature while we consume and pro-
Our emotional states are conta-
gious; they are passed person-to-
person through social networks,
workplaces, radio programmes and
in public spaces into the wider soci-
ety. If we are stressed, fearful, dirty
or if we are optimistic, happy and
clean that is what will be passed on
to become the emotional state of
our national society---social conta-
Wise use of the environment is
the key component in the risk matrix
and cornerstone of national well-
being. This will be shown in Parts
If you wish to contribute to this
guest series, send in your ideas to Ira
Mathur at email@example.com or
join our Facebook page at www.face-
Starting this week
Cathal Healy-Singh, an
with over 20 years of
diverse experience, is
our guest columnist for
a three-part series
suggesting that T&T's
issues is part of a larger
malaise in every sector
of the society.
Explaining the social contagion effect
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