Disaster Coordinator Salomon calls on nation to prepare for 2013 Atlantic hurricane season

Forecasters say busy season ahead

Disaster Coordinator Winston Salomon, Head of the Island’s Disaster Emergency Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), is calling on the Sint Maarten community to begin to prepare timely for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, and to have the necessary plans in place by June 1st , the start of the season.

Colorado State University hurricane team Phil Klotzbach and William Gray have forecasted in their early April report enhanced activity for the hurricane season with 18 named storms, of which nine will become hurricanes, and four of those will become major hurricanes with over 111 miles per hour winds.

Even though the official start of the season is over two weeks away, Salomon is urging residents to use this period to prepare themselves adequately by reviewing their annual hurricane season preparatory list.

The Disaster Coordinator added that the country’s disaster preparedness and emergency management mechanism are expected to be ready to deal with any eventuality arising during the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

"As we do for every hurricane season, preparing for a storm strike is necessary. Remember it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. I am calling on the nation to begin to prepare now, so as to mitigate the effects of a possible hurricane disaster. We have the time now to prepare our homes, businesses and other structures adequately in the event of a hurricane strike.

"Check your disaster plan and review your disaster supply kit. Prepare early and avoid being caught unprepared. Minimize your dependence on government, family or friends. Preparedness starts with every one of us within our communities," Disaster Coordinator Winston Salomon said on Tuesday.

Some of the preparations that should be carried out now are checking hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.

Persons living along coastal areas as well as those in flood prone areas should start looking at what measures they would take in the event of a hurricane which could cause flood challenges.

The 2013 hurricane season officially runs through November 30 and begins June 1st.