“Prepare now,” says National Disaster Coordinator as 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 03, 2021 (SKNIS): Residents in St. Kitts and Nevis are strongly encouraged to be vigilant during the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, as experts expect another above-normal active period.

The season officially began on Tuesday, June 01. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season. They expect 13 to 20 named storms, of which 6 to 10 may become hurricanes, including 3 to 5 major hurricanes.

Abdias Samuel, the National Disaster Coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said that residents should be acting now to protect life and property.

“You need to do what is necessary to begin your personal preparations for your homes and workplaces,” Mr. Samuel said at a briefing Tuesday. “If you don’t have a hurricane plan develop a plan, know where your emergency shelters are; it is very important for you to know where to go in the event that your home is impacted.

“It is also important for you to know the emergency numbers for first response agencies such as the fire department, police department, defense force, and of course NEMA and the NDMD (Nevis Disaster Management Division),” Mr. Samuel added.

Residents were also advised to stay tuned to local news broadcasts and pay attention to bulletins issued by credible sources such as the St. Kitts Meteorological Office and the local disaster agencies.

“This is a critical time for you to go through your checklist,” the national disaster coordinator indicated. “If you suffer from any type of illness, you need to have sufficient medication to take you through for a period of a least seven days. This is the time for an assessment of your property especially your homes, strengthen the weakened areas within your homes and also do your best (to ensure) your waterways, gutters, and also drainage are cleared.”

Clipping trees that may cause damage to nearby structures and poles, as well as clearing materials and debris from yards and open spaces is recommended.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let us prepare,” Mr. Samuel stated, warning that this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season comes at a time when the nation is grappling with a spike in COVID-19 cases brought about by community spread. A prolonged dry spell that has caused drought-like conditions is also being addressed by officials in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Featured Photo – National Disaster Coordinator, Abdias Samuel

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