Fire Dept./Office of Disaster Management calls on nation to start preparing for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season

The first named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season formed this past Monday near Bermuda, and the official start of the season is still less than two weeks away.

“Remember it only takes one,” is the theme of the Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The formation of Sub-Tropical Storm Andrea on Monday is a reminder that another hurricane season is just around the corner, and the population should start to review their plans for the season. The hurricane season officially opens on June 1st and runs until November 30.

The Fire Department/ODM is calling on the Sint Maarten community to begin to prepare early for the Atlantic hurricane season, and to have home and business disaster plans in place before the peak period of the season which is from August – October.

The selected storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season by the World Meteorological Organization are: Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

ODM is urging residents to use the next few weeks to prepare adequately by reviewing their annual hurricane season preparatory list.

ODM adds that the country’s disaster preparedness and emergency management system have been busy preparing its response mechanisms and are ready to deal with any eventuality arising during the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

ODM request the population to check their disaster plan and review their 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.

Some of the preparations that should be carried out now are checking hurricane shutters; the roof of your home or business; and 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 strike 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 their vessel.

Additional public awareness communications will be made in the coming weeks via print, online (social media, YouTube) and broadcast media with respect to preparing for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.