Following a tour of the Belize Civic Center and other facilities in Belize City last Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Minister of National Emergency Management Hon Edmond Castro and officials from the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) agreed that the Civic Center, in the event of a major disaster, would be utilized as headquarters for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), among other things.
The suitability of the Civic Center for this purpose is due in part to the fact that it is self-contained, with in-house generator and adequate fuel supply, as well as water supply for an extended period. It was also agreed that the building would house an emergency medical center operated by personnel from Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and other tertiary medical institutions, as well as a command center with members of the uniformed forces that are a key component of disaster management operations; and as a shelter.
Members of the uniformed forces (including the Police, BDF, Coast Guard and Fire Department) were a part of the delegation accompanying the minister on his tour. They were also joined by managers and personnel from KHMH and Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital, representatives from the Red Cross and other agencies involved in disaster management and humanitarian relief. Other facilities visited and inspected include the Gateway Youth Center and the Frank Lizama Training Center, which are being considered as locations for secondary emergency operation centers.
Accompanying Hon Castro on the first leg of his tour was Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Wilfred Elrington, Area Representative for Pickstock, the constituency in which the Belize Civic Center is located.