The St. John The Baptiste Church – Category one

St James Secondary – Category one

The Good shepherd School – Category one

St. James Primary School – Category two

Persons should first make sure that their homes are able to withstand disasters and secondly they should seek to identify alternative shelter with relatives and friends whose premises are more likely to offer greater protection than their own homes.

If the above is not possible persons should then seek to locate the nearest shelter to their homes and to have a knowledge of the capacity of that shelter.

In Barbados we have category one and two shelters.

  • A category one is a building perceived to be able to withstand hurricane conditions primarily, before and during the hurricane.
  • A category two is a building where it is expected that persons would be housed after the incident.

At The Shelters

  • Operations area i.e. space for the shelter management and staff to administer the programs and activities of the shelter.
  • Treatment area i.e. an area to be used to treat the sick or injured, or service the emotional needs of the occupants of the shelter.
  • Registration area where all persons entering or leaving the shelter should be accounted for, and the gathering of the pertinent information is important for the effective management of the shelter.
  •  Sleeping area – adequate space for the provision of single persons or family units and space for separate male and female.
  • Feeding Area – A sanitary area where food may be served if the shelter is to be used longer than 2 to 3 days.
  • Recreational area- an area large enough to accommodate the occupants of the shelter for indoor games and activities. It is also advisable that a separate area be available for children. Please note that boredom in a shelter has the potential to create severe administrative problems. Adequate recreational activities can minimise boredom.
  • A laundry or wash area- consideration should be given to this if the shelter is to be used for more that two to three days.
  • The shelter must have a reliable water source, i.e. the quality and pressure of the water. In the event that the national supply is affected, adequate storage facilities should be in place.
  • Sanitary facilities and the adequate disposal of sewage are paramount to adequately meet the needs of number of persons expected to use the shelter.
  • Security is essential to maintain law and order, and to minimise vandalism. Windows and doors should therefore be secure and provision made for adequate lighting.
  • Since most shelters are buildings that are usually occupied for other reasons, no effort should be spared to safeguard its contents, so as to ensure easy transition back to its regular use, when the shelter occupants have left.

Other considerations that should be taken into account when allocating shelters are:

  1. The structure and its appropriateness to be used as designated.
  2. Accessibility of the shelter and adequate parking facilities
  3. Is the shelter safe from flooding or storm surge, falling trees, protected from high winds?
  4. Is the shelter a safe distance from the storage of hazardous materials?
  5. Does the shelter have adequate water storage facilities?
  6. Is the environment clean and sanitary, and have the capacity for food storage and the serving of food?
  7. Has the building been certified to be used as a shelter by a professional engineer?
  8. What equipment and supplies does the shelter have?
  9. Does the facility have an emergency plan?
  10. The venue should be accessible to allow cars and trucks to easily access the building. Provision for safe parking, free from the threat of fallen trees, power lines or flooding, and should be lit for persons arriving on foot.
  11. If the shelter is located on the coastal corridor, it should be more that 40 to 50 feet above sea level, and at least 175 feet from the high water mark. The building should be able to withstand winds of at least 100 miles per hour and not close to any known flood prone areas or potential risk to down stream water flows.
  12. The shelter should not be located near gas stations or warehouses where dangerous chemicals, paints or substances that are easily ignited. The shelter should have at least two entrances and exits and should not exceed two stories high.
  13. Have adequate access and bathroom facilities for the physically disabled.

Support staff should include communication capacity, medical personnel, administrative and ancillary personnel, basic medical and hardware supplies.