It only takes one storm to change your life and community. We live in the hurricane belt, and therefore you need to be prepared.
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is calling on the community to review their Disaster Supply Kit (DSK) to make sure everything is in place and that homeowners and businesses have their action plans up to date on what measures will be taken to prepare their property in the event of a storm/hurricane threat.
National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson says we are in the peak of the hurricane season and all residents should be prepared to take action If required to do so.
“It’s a personal responsibility to be prepared and have a personal action list on what measures you need to take to prepare your home and business and safeguard your belongings. Have a back-up plan in place in the event you decide to leave your home to stay by a friend or family member during the passing of a hurricane.
“Every resident and business operation must also make sure their premises are clear and clean of any debris or old items that can pose a threat to their home or business or other properties in their immediate surroundings. Again, it’s a personal responsibility to make sure that you comply with the aforementioned advice,” National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson said on Monday.
Double check your DSK to make sure you have the necessary supplies for up to seven days after a storm has passed the island for your family. A devastating hurricane could leave the country without water and electricity for several days if not longer, and therefore it is very important to have a minimum of one week of supplies for each person in the household.
The DSK should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.
If you are a parent with an infant or young child, you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.
ODM also advises to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane.
For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative arrangements to stay at family, friends or other housing arrangements. Remember, to use the time now to plan and be prepared.
For official local weather and Government related disaster/hurricane information please visit (www.meteosxm.com); the Government of Sint Maarten website (www.sintmaartengov.org) or the Government of Sint Maarten social media Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/SXMGOV), or tune into Government Radio 107.9 FM.
The 2018 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.