State Of Emergency Before Hurricane Would Have Been Pointless

Sherine Williams, Journalist | November 14, 2017 5:11 am MST
Photo Credit: Provided
Premier Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith has said there would have been no point in declaring a state of emergency before Hurricane Irma hit on September 6.

Many unscrupulous individuals looted businesses and homes during the passage of the storm. The day after, Governor Augustus Jaspert declared a state of emergency, where security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order, and restrict the movement of people.

During a sitting of the House of Assembly on November 13, Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser referred to the US State of Florida and the US Virgin Islands, which called a state of emergency before they were impacted by major hurricanes in September.

He asked the Premier why the BVI didn't put a state of emergency in place before Irma, adding that it could have prevented much of the looting.

"Looters were sitting right after the hurricane, ready to loot people's homes and businesses, but the police couldn't send them home because there was no curfew in place," Hon. Fraser argued.

In response, Premier Smith said, "...The United States and its Territories, they get assistance in terms of aid, FEMA on the ground. We don't get such assistance so a state of emergency, there would be no point in that."

After Governor Jaspert declared the state of emergency in the Territory, police and troops from the U.K. were called in to bolster the efforts of the local law enforcers.

Many persons have since criticized the Territory's leaders, saying the state of emergency was called after the damage was already done.
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