Young peo­ple were scep­ti­cal of hur­ri­cane mak­ing land­fall

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Okoye Henry Gleaner Writer

MANY YOUNG peo­ple liv­ing in western Ja­maica were seem­ingly un­con­cerned about pre­par­ing for the ap­proach of Hur­ri­cane Matthew last week com­pared to their older coun­ter­parts.

Western Fo­cus spoke to sev­eral young adults, many of whom were in their early 20s, and found that some of them were scep­ti­cal from the out­set as to whether the Cat­e­gory Four hur­ri­cane would have hit the is­land.

Darien-An­dros Parkin­son, who lives in St James, said he was very scep­ti­cal that the hur­ri­cane would have made land­fall.

“Over the years, we have heard about a lot of hur­ri­canes com­ing to Ja­maica, and none of them have ac­tu­ally reached Ja­maica or af­fected the is­land in any pos­si­ble way,” said Parkin­son.

“Yes, I got a few can­dles, and so forth, but I didn’t go the ex­treme of get­ting a lot of stuff

There was the pos­si­bil­ity of every­thing, and you don't know what will hap­pen, so I said I bet­ter be safe than sorry.

be­cause it was just one of those news where the hur­ri­cane is go­ing to pass us by,” he added.

In fact, Parkin­son said he had hoped the hur­ri­cane would have come to Ja­maica so he could get his first ex­pe­ri­ence.

An­other young­ster, Je­varne Beck­ford, who re­sides in Hanover, echoed a sim­i­lar tune. Ac­cord­ing to him, he made no prepa­ra­tions what­so­ever as he did not feel threat­ened. He said he was scep­ti­cal of me­dia re­ports that Hur­ri­cane Matthew was go­ing to hit Ja­maica be­cause there were no changes in the cli­matic con­di­tions in the parish.

CON­CERNS

“The only con­cern I had was for those spend­ing money un­nec­es­sar­ily about a storm they said was im­mi­nent but one that I knew would never come,” Beck­ford said.

It was a dif­fer­ent story in the case of Raquel Reid, an­other res­i­dent of Hanover. Reid said she stocked up on food items and se­cured her doc­u­ments.

“I also could not do with­out my elec­tric­ity for so long, but I am al­ways pre­pared, and once I had the nec­es­sary items in my house, I was OK,” she said.

Over in neigh­bour­ing West­more­land, Le-Vaughn Roper said while he had his doubts, he still en­sured that he was pre­pared.

“There was the pos­si­bil­ity of every­thing, and you don’t know what will hap­pen, so I said I bet­ter be safe than sorry,” said Roper, who added that he stocked up mainly on wa­ter.

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