Governor Franklyn Richards, Chairman of the Island’s Disaster Emergency Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), is calling on the St. Maarten community to start preparing for the 2009 hurricane season and to have those plans in place by June 1st the start of the season.
Even though the official start of the season is still two weeks away, Governor Richards is urging residents to use this period to prepare themselves.
"The month of May for the Caribbean and the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, is a period used to prepare for the six-month hurricane season. It makes no sense to make major preparations days or hours before a hurricane strike.
"Prepare early and avoid being caught unprepared. Preparedness starts with every one of us within society. As a community we must plan early and don’t wait until the last moment to rush to get things done because it can result in injury," Governor Richards told the Government Information Service (GIS) on Tuesday.
Some of the preparations that should be done now are the removal of debris from around homes and businesses; checking hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business to make sure those windows can close securely and there are no weak spots in the roof.
Putting together a hurricane disaster kit is also another essential part of preparing early as well as stockpiling non-perishables.
The 2009 Hurricane Season name list is: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
The 2009 hurricane season officially starts on June 1 through November 30.