Here are some helpful tips for you to enjoy a safe carnival season!
EMERGENCY SERVICES HOTLINES
- AMBULANCE 811
- POLICE 999
- FIRE 990
SAFETY FIRST – PERSONAL SAFETY
- Do travel in groups.
- Do inform at least one other person of your movements. The ‘live location’ function on WhatsApp is a great safety feature and communication tool, generally. If mobile data is unavailable, employ the free hotspots with local providers.
- Do keep one form of photo I.D. on your person. Suitable choices include a driver’s permit, student I.D. from your academic institution or photocopy of the photo page of your passport.
- Do observe, with care, when drinks are prepared and opened for you.
- Do practice caution when accepting ‘free drinks’.
- Do not leave drinks unattended.
- Do be aware of your alcohol limitations.
- Do not engage in illicit drugs and the excess use of alcohol, these have a negative effect on behaviour that may include reduced inhibition and increased risk-taking behaviour.
- Do practise safe sex with condoms always.
- Do access the free HIV rapid-test service at local health centres nationwide.
- Identify, upon arrival at the activity/venue, an agreed meeting point for the group for the end of the event or if any individual becomes separated from the group.
- For masqueraders, each music truck is numbered as are the mobile food & beverage stations in your chosen band. These can also be used as a good reference or meeting points throughout the Parade Of The Bands, on the road, on Carnival Monday & Tuesday.
- Vehicle maintenance should be completed in advance of the Carnival season.
- Rental car agreements may offer roadside assistance for an extra fee. This convenience is a worthwhile investment for both rental and even privately owned vehicles.
- Ensure there is a minimum of a half tank full of gasoline in the vehicle before embarking on any journey.
THE DESIGNATED DRIVER
- In advance of a journey, nominate a designated driver. He/she should refrain from the use of any intoxicating substance i.e. alcohol, marijuana etc. before and during the event.
- The designated driver should be familiar with the actual vehicle and its safety features e.g. automatic alarm as well as the location and integrity of the spare tyre and tools for changing a flat tyre.
- The designated driver should be familiar with the direct and alternative routes to and from the activity/venue.
- Taxis may be hired in advance through a private arrangement. There are taxi ranks at the front reception area of hotels in Port of Spain. A registered vehicle for hire will have the letter ‘H’ at the beginning of the license plate.
- In Trinidad, there is a spectrum of public transport options where cash payments are accepted including route buses, minibuses i.e. maxi taxis, cars or people-carriers. These are all driven by licensed conductors who are registered with service associations and ply set routes. These vehicles will have a license plate number beginning with the letter ‘H’ for hire.
HEALTH & WELLNESS – FOOT CARE & FOOTWEAR
- Do trim all toe nails in advance of playing J’Ouvert or pretty mas on Carnival Monday & Tuesday. When having a pedicure, do ensure the toe nails are cut back in a straight-across style, just short of the front edge of the toe itself.
- Do “break-in” your shoes by wearing them at least once in advance of Carnival Monday & Tuesday.
- Do wear well-fitting carnival boots or sneakers to protect the entire foot, especially the toes, for parading in the streets. Keep slip-on type footwear for your journey home at the end of the activity.
- Do treat your feet to a soak in a tub of warm water and Epsom salts after a day on the road.
- Any site vending or dispensing food is required to have photo identification of each staffer on display revealing a current Food Handler’s badge. Public Health Inspectors are also on the parade route and at fetes performing spot checks to ensure safe food preparation, storage and service practises.
- Do use alcohol-based hand sanitiser or wet wipes as useful alternatives to soap and water after visiting the restroom and before eating.
- Do maintain adequate hydration by consuming a variety of beverages including water and fruit juices to maintain adequate internal salts, sugars and water balance for optimum health.
EYE & SKIN CARE
- Do make use of a sun visor, cap, hat and/or sunglasses when outdoors during the daytime.
- Do re-apply skin, sun protection products i.e. sprays & creams throughout the day when outdoors in the daytime.
- Do pay special attention to sun-exposed areas including behind the neck, the ear lobes and the crown of the head (for bald individuals) when applying sun screen.
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES IN THE NORTH WEST REGION
- The public hospitals with an accident & emergency department, accessible 24/7 in the North West region, are as follows:
|Port of Spain General Hospital||(868)-623-2951-6||61 Charlotte Street, Port of Spain|
|St James Medical Complex||(868)-628-6083||112 Western Main Road, St James|
- These are public institutions where care and medication are free at the point-of-care.
- In the suburbs of Port of Spain, public health centres are open for non-emergency care. Staff include nurses, doctors and pharmacists . The services are free of charge.
- Opening hours are from 8am-4pm on Carnival Monday & Tuesday as follows:
|Diego Martin||(868)-637-9308||#2 Church Street|
|Maraval||(868)-629-2043||Corner Morne Coco Road & Saddle Road|
|Petit Valley||(868)-632-3284||Corner Morne Coco Road & Simeon Road|
|St James||(868)-625-1295||112 Western Main Road/St James Infirmary|
REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE THIS CARNIVAL!