Office of Disaster Management (ODM), is calling on the Sint Maarten community to begin to prepare timely for the Atlantic hurricane season, and to have the necessary plans in place before the peak period of the season which is from August – October. The hurricane season opens on June 1st.
The first named-storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season formed in April and was named Arlene. Arlene became the only second April storm on record and remained out in the open central Atlantic Ocean. The second April storm system was Ana in 2003.
This was the third consecutive year a storm system in the Atlantic has formed before the official June 1 start of the hurricane season, with 2012, 2015 and 2016 reporting storm formation before June 1.
The remaining storm names for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season are: Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.
ODM is urging residents to use the next few weeks to prepare adequately by reviewing your annual hurricane season preparatory list.
ODM adds that the country’s disaster preparedness and emergency management mechanisms will be ready to deal with any eventuality arising during the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.
“As we do for every hurricane season, preparing for a storm strike is necessary. Every household and business should take the necessary precautions by preparing, because it only takes one hurricane strike to make it a bad season.
“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,” ODM pointed out.
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.
Mariners who are seeking shelter in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond should also make plans to stay with friends or at a hotel until the storm has passed rather than staying on-board the vessel.
The 2017 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.