ODM: Are You Ready? It’s Your Personal Responsibility to Be Prepared this Hurricane Season!

Fire Chief and National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is once again appealing to the community of Sint Maarten to be prepared for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its recent hurricane season forecast update says that there is the chance for an above-normal hurricane season.

Richardson is calling on the community to use the time now to re-check storm preparations and to be prepared for the remaining months of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. Are You Ready?

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”
In addition, you can also download the ‘Disaster Prep Sint Maarten’ app for Android phones at this point in time: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.p4156BI&hl=en_US
The app for Apple phones is not yet available at the Apple Store.

Richardson added that there was no time to become complacent. Every household and business operation have a personal responsibility to make sure they are storm ready by cleaning-up yards and surroundings of any debris that could blow away in the event of a storm/hurricane. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad season.

The number of predicted storms is also greater with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater).

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action – storm ready!

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Two named storms have already developed for the season, namely Andrea and Barry.

The remaining storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are: Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imedla, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

The ODM is urging residents to check hurricane shutters and the roof of their home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.

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 once they have secured their vessel in a timely manner rather than staying on-board the vessel to ride out the passing of a storm.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM – for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!