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Public Advisory 4 - The ODPM Urges Persons in Low-Lying Areas to Commence Precautionary Measures in light of the Adverse Weather Alert and Riverine Flood Alert


Thursday 18th October, 2018                                                           4:20 P.M.

The ODPM Urges Persons in Low-Lying Areas to Commence Precautionary Measures

in light of the Adverse Weather Alert and Riverine Flood Alert

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) wishes to advise persons residing in low-lying areas, with a history of flooding to commence precautionary measures to reduce the impact of flash and riverine flooding. Communities with a history of flooding, especially along the Caroni River Basin are urged to commence sandbagging and to take the necessary steps to preserve life and property.

Persons should remain alert for rising river levels and possible over-spill. The ODPM has received reports of significantly high river levels across Trinidad.  The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) has advised that river levels are expected to rise further as more rainfall is forecast over the next several days. Riverine flooding occurs when water levels in a river over-tops its banks and spills onto surrounding areas. This type of flooding is more widespread and usually lasts for several days.

The ODPM has also observed social media images and videos of persons taking unnecessary risks by driving through flood waters. The ODPM wishes to advise persons to desist from driving or walking through flood waters. Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. Vehicles can be swept away or may stall in flood waters.

TTMS has issued an Adverse Weather Alert #2 – Orange Level for Trinidad and Tobago for the period Thursday 18th October, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to Sunday 21st October, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.  Additionally, a Riverine Flood Alert #1 – Orange Level is in effect for communities located along Trinidad’s main river courses and associated tributaries, for the period Thursday 18th October, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. to Tuesday 23rd October, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.  Orange level means that you should prepare to safeguard yourself and your property.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), as the country’s strategic disaster risk reduction and emergency management agency which mobilises and coordinates the country’s key agencies, through the National Operations Centre remains in contact with the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government and other first responder and support agencies to support incident response as required.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) would like persons to ‘Get Ready and Stay Ready’ by implementing the following safety measures:

  1. Pre-position sandbags around your property, especially if your area or property has a history of flooding;
  2. Clear drains around your property;
  3. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts;
  4. Place important personal documents, valuables and vital medical supplies into a waterproof bag or container in an accessible location;
  5. Activate your 72-hour plan and ensure you have enough food, water and medical supplies for at least three (3) days;
  6. Prepare a household emergency plan. Know how your family will communicate and remain updates if separated;
  7. Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on display on your refrigerator or anywhere easily accessible to everyone in your household;
  8. Learn the hotline numbers of your municipal corporation, especially your Disaster Management Unit number (see attached);
  9. Monitor weather conditions before leaving the house;
  10.  Listen or look out for further updates on television, radio and/or social media from official sources.

If where you live, work or travel is affected by the adverse weather, here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

  1. After heavy rainfall, stay inside until water levels have subsided and it is safe to venture outside;
  2. Be cautious when walking/driving along hillsides or landslide-prone areas;
  3. Do not walk or drive through flood waters;
  4. Avoid entering floodwaters, if you must do so, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick;
  5. Practice electrical safety - In the event of flooding, turn off electrical power to your home or business;
  6. Do not allow your children to play in flood waters. Flood waters may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection;
  7. Stay away from drains, culverts and flood waters. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children;
  8. Practice good hygiene (hand washing) after contact with flood waters;
  9. Drink clean or preferably boiled water.
  10. If impacted by the adverse weather, please contact your Municipal Corporation or the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) through its toll-free hotline numbers.




 The Municipal Corporations’ Disaster Management Unit and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Hotline numbers are as follows:



Name of Corporation/Agency

Hotline Numbers

Arima Borough Corporation

800-2ABC (2222)

Chaguanas Borough Corporation

800-DCBC (3222)

Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation

800-CTTC (2882)

Diego Martin Regional Corporation

800-DMRC (3672)

Mayaro/Rio Claro Regional Corporation

800-4MRC (4672)

 Penal/Debe Regional Corporation

800-PDRC (7372)

Point Fortin Borough Corporation

800-PFCB (7322)

Port-of-Spain City Corporation

800-PSCC (7722)

Princes Town Regional Corporation

800-PTRC (7872)

 San Fernando City Corporation

800-SCDU (7238)

Sangre Grande Regional Corporation

800-SGRC (7472)

San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation

800-SLRC (7572)

Siparia Regional Corporation

800-4SRC (4772)

Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation

800-TPRC (8772)

Tobago Emergency Management Agency




Issued by:

Public Information, Education and Community Outreach Unit

For further information, please call:

ODPM’s Customer Call Centre 511/ TEMA’s Hotline 211

To download public advisory, please click here. 

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