Residents told to take precautions ahead of hurricane season

Residents told to take precautions ahead of hurricane season

With the hurricane season less than six months away, residents have been advised to secure their roofs.

This comes from Senior Minister with the responsibility for coordinating infrastructural projects, Dr William Duguid.

Dr Duguid announced 5,000 low-income homeowners will be receiving hurricane strap kits from the Government during a press briefing at Parliament.

“What we have agreed to do is that the Ministry of Housing will procure hurricane strap kits, that is essentially four hurricane straps, with the screws needed to be able to attach them….  [The hurricane strap] goes on essentially to the rafters and to the ring beam and it helps to hold the rafter of your roof down.”

The Senior Minister said the distribution of the kits which are approximately $250 each, will take place under the Catastrophe Fund Act, which states recipients must earn $25,000 or below the income bracket and their homes must be 75 per cent wooden structures.

The distribution will be facilitated through the Department of Emergency Management to district emergency organisation (DEO) pipeline.

He detailed that the hurricane straps could be easily installed by householders, however, public service announcements will be aired showing the installation process and provisions will be made for those that require assistance.

“Take advantage of this opportunity to be able to add hurricane straps to your house, because what they do is they help to keep the roof of your house connected to the rest of the house, this is critical and we found this definitely makes the house much more resilient,” remarked the minister.

Dr Duguid encouraged all homeowners to invest in hurricane straps.

“In comparison to what you would be spending if you had to replace a roof or replace rafters…it is a good investment,” he indicated, while expressing he hoped to ramp up the distribution of the kits by 10,000 after the first tranche.

This sentiment was echoed by Minister of Home Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams who highlighted that the 2021 freak storm and Hurricane Elsa dealt a blow to many Barbadian homes.

“Everybody should be looking at strapping their roof, whether you are below the poverty line, on the poverty line, above the poverty line, this is a responsibility you owe to yourself because you might not want to spend $250 and might end up having to spend $50,000 or $100,000 to replace the house,” he emphasised.

  • PublishedFebruary 27, 2023

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