GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – On the eve of the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Chair of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) issued her national message to the nation.
“My Fellow Sint Maarteners,
Another hurricane season is before us. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season traditionally begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. We are faced with this challenge every year.
“Our country sits in a disaster-prone hurricane risk area. Therefore, we must prepare and be ready! This is a call to action and the time is now to put things into motion.
“Forecasters have stated that we can expect a busy hurricane season. This season is already off to an early start with the formation of the first two named storms forming, namely Arthur and Bertha off the U.S. east coast within the past two weeks.
“This shows the unpredictability of these powerful weather systems, and it further demonstrates that we must be ready at all times throughout the hurricane season.
“This season commences as we continue to go through the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the measures that we have taken as a Government back in March, our country’s COVID-19 situation has been brought under control prior to the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
“With our phased de-escalation process currently underway, residents are able to prepare for the hurricane season by visiting the hardware stores and other entities such as insurance companies etc., making sure that you prepare early and have things in place before the peak months of the season.
“The time to prepare is now! You are preparing under a new reality, and a new normal. COVID-19 has changed the way we do things and the way we interact with each other. A prepared community means a resilient nation, ensuring a quick recovery in the event we are impacted by mother nature.
“The Government’s Disaster Management Organization has been preparing since early May. All emergency support functions have been preparing their plans for this season in order to safeguard the nation. Hurricane preparation is not only a prerogative of Government, but an individual, family and business responsibility.
“Individually and collectively, we strengthen our preparedness against any disaster or crisis, and COVID-19 is testament to this. As a people you adhered to our advice coming from our health care professionals and other relevant emergency support functions during the past four months who are part of our country’s disaster management system.
“When making your preparations for the hurricane season, you must also keep in mind COVID-19 and the hygiene measures that you must follow daily to protect yourself and your family.
“When preparing your Disaster Kit and “grab-bag,” you have to make sure to include hand sanitizer, soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces. These are all COVID-19 requirements besides the other necessities such as water, batteries, flashlight, radio, medicine, non-perishable foods etc.
“Do not become complacent this hurricane season. Follow the preparedness messages and advice coming from our emergency support functions. Careful preparation will make a huge difference and remain vigilant throughout the season. Stay informed and follow official government information channels for instructions.
“Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. I appeal to everyone including the business community, to make sure you are ready for the season.
“Start preparing from now, and remember, we are a resilient people and a resilient nation, and because of our collective preparation, this will allow us to overcome as we have done in the past, because of a collective resiliency based on how well we are prepared.
“Prepare well and be prepared! May we have a safe 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
Thank you, and May God Bless our Sint Maarten Land.”
Hurricane Season Related Information
The community is 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 ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.
The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Christobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.
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