Citizens and residents are strongly urged to be prepared for the above-normal 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which officially commenced on Monday, June 01 and will run until Monday, November 30.
“Citizens and residents, given the above-normal outlook of this hurricane season, it is vital that everyone in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis take precautionary measures and be prepared. It is important that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is prepared for the destructive hazard associated with this natural phenomenon,” said Abdias Samuel, National Disaster Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at the NEOC COVID-19 Daily Briefing for June 01, 2020.
Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Mr. Samuel encouraged all to stay up-to-date with the latest news regarding the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“I ask that you remain connected to the official sources of information on COVID-19 ahead of the developing hurricane and tropical storms from the NEMA. NEMA continues to work with its partners such as the St. Kitts Meteorological Office and the Nevis Emergency Management Department which will provide you with updates on forecasts and warnings affecting our Federation and would advise on the necessary tips to help you stay safe,” he said. “You are also encouraged to monitor the local media sources for updates during the hurricane season. NEMA encourages the monitoring of all weather alerts and bulletins issued by the local MET office and the safety announcements by NEMA.”
He pledged his agency’s commitment to continue sharing hurricane preparedness information, updates and advisories as they become available. The general public is encouraged to visit www.nemakn and the Facebook page NEMA SKN for more information.
The National Disaster Coordinator reminded all of the devastation the region experienced in 2017 and 2019 and encouraged everyone to be alert.
“Let the 2017 experience of Irma and Maria, and how can we forget in 2019, Dorian – an extremely powerful category five hurricane which devastated countries in the Caribbean region and the United States of America – serve as a reminder of how dynamic these weather systems can be and that predication can and will change,” he said “However, we must be ready and this should allow us to build resilience as a people. We all have a role to play in doing so and this must be of high priority at this time. Citizens and residents, it only takes one hurricane to change lives, livelihoods and communities, and we saw that response in the Bahamas,” Mr. Samuel added.
As the hurricane season commences, Mr. Samuel said it is important for the general public to know where the emergency shelters are located; areas that are prone to flooding; emergency contact numbers for NEMA and the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC), as well as names and contact numbers for NEMA’s district managers, assistant managers and volunteers in your community. It is also important for citizens and residents to ensure they have a family evacuation and communication plan; update their emergency supply kit to include first aid, hand sanitizers and hygienic essential items; place important documents in a sealed container or zip lock bags and revisit their property insurance to make sure it is up-to-date.
Photo: MR. ABDIAS SAMUEL