Humanitarian partners prepare for Tropical Storm Emily

5 August, 2011
A vendor struggles to ply her wares in heavy rains. Credit: UNMINUSTAH/Logan Abassi
A vendor struggles to ply her wares in heavy rains. Credit: UNMINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

Haiti is bracing for severe wind and rain as Tropical Storm Emily approaches. Authorities have called on people living in coastal and low-lying areas to evacuate to higher ground.

The country is still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquake. Over 630,000 are still living in emergency shelters in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.

In the south east of the country, where Emily is expected to land, health facilities and cholera treatment centres have been evacuated. Humanitarian partners are on standby to distribute shelter materials, food and medical kits.

In anticipation of the 2011 hurricane season, humanitarian partners and the Government of Haiti developed contingency plans to help Haitians weather the impact of heavy rains and storms. The season kicks off in June and ends in November.

Evacuation routes and shelters have been identified and mapped. Health supplies for 120,000 people, emergency shelter materials for over 100,000 people and water, sanitation and hygiene materials have been pre-positioned in a number of strategic locations throughout the country. In flood-prone areas including the Artibonite and Sud-Ouest departments and the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan area enough food for has been pre-positioned to feed 500,000 people for three weeks.

Humanitarian organizations are also disseminating public awareness messages, focusing in particular on people in camps in Port-au-Prince. Humanitarian partners have distributed over 35,000 copies of Chimen Lakay, a comic-style newspaper that shows how to securely tie down tents and tarpaulins before a storm approaches.