The Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventist has activated its disaster plan considering the threat of the Hurricane Isaac that was projected to make landfall or pass close to Jamaica over the weekend of September 15-16, 2018.
Isaac, based on news reports, has subsequently been downgraded to a tropical storm. However, Conference President Pastor Levi Johnson said the disaster plan will remain active until the hurricane season has passed.
The decision was taken during a meeting with the Directors of the Conference on Thursday, September 13, 2018. The meeting was chaired by Conference President, Pastor Levi Johnson.
During the meeting, Pastor Everett Smith, Community Services Director and the person in charge of disaster planning outlined the main aspects of the plan.
Pastor Smith said that the members of the church are encouraged to first put a plan in place to secure their families and personal property, after which they should take steps to help the vulnerable (elderly and children) in their communities and then help to secure the church property.
These plans were also shared with the pastors of CJC during their monthly Ministerial Fraternity Meeting on the same day. The Pastors were told that arrangements are being made with a supermarket and a hardware store in each parish to assist with relief efforts just in case the hurricane caused any damages.
Pastor Smith said that none of the Adventist church buildings are designated shelters, except for the Bartons Church in St. Catherine. However, he said that our churches can be used as holding areas for a brief period (24-48 hours). He also said that all persons affected are encouraged to visit a shelter as soon as necessary.
He also informed the pastors that persons who are moving to shelters should (as far as possible) take their own food. This he said, because food may not always be available at the shelters immediately. He said persons are also encouraged to take their medications and other personal effects to the shelter.
During the meeting with the Directors, Pastor Johnson outlined that funds (up to $800,000.00) have been earmarked towards disaster relief.
The following information will be sent to the Pastors to be distributed in the churches to assist during an emergency caused by a hurricane:
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- Family Emergency Plan (from ODPEM)
- Emergency Shelter Locations (from ODPEM)