Local Government Minister, Senator Kazim Hosein.

Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein has met with heads of the various regional corporations and other other stakeholders to discuss preparedness levels across all municipal corporations as tropical storm Gonzalo continues to evolve.

The minister hosted a virtual meeting yesterday at the ministry’s Emergency Operations Centre and was joined by permanent secretary Desdra Bascombe, senior disaster management Coordinator Jerry David, meteorologist at the T&T Meteorological Service Jean-Marc Rampersad and disaster management coordinators.

The meeting began with a presentation by Rampersad on the development of tropical storm Gonzalo and its expected trajectory.

Subsequently, municipalities affirmed their readiness for the impending storm. Equipment and relief item stock checks have been completed.

Moreover, the distribution of sandbags has already commenced in a few corporations while municipalities have also alerted stakeholders such as councillors, technical teams, shelter managers and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers.

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government said municipalities remain committed to the all-of-corporation approach to emergency response and are positioned to assist neighbouring districts.

Additionally, Hosein confirmed that branches of the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Public Utilities stand ready to embark on emergency operations if required.

Bascombe emphasised the need to observe COVID-19 regulations in all preparations while David encouraged the proactive evaluation of all regions in addition to traditsionally vulnerable communities.

Hosein has also commended the DMUs for their continued yeoman service saying: “It is better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.”

He noted that each citizen of T&T must take precautions and look out for their neighbours.

The ministry said it continues to be guided by updates T&T Meteorological Service and urged all citizens to likewise stay informed via reputable sources. The ministry said it continues to be guided by updates from the Meteorological Service and advised all citizens to likewise stay informed via reputable sources.