Coastal residents advised to have plans in place for storm surge flooding

POSTED: 07/8/11 1:38 PM

St. Maarten – Coastal residents are advised to have plans in place for possible storm surge in the event of a passing hurricane. The Office of Disaster Management states these plans should have been in place since before the hurricane season which started on June 1.

Property damages that can be expected from hurricanes and coastal flooding have been increasing year by year and in many places the threat to life is increasing as well, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Most coastal communities are vulnerable to one or more different kinds of flooding and related hazards: frequent flooding from storm surge and winds; and storm-caused erosion of bluffs and beaches.

In the event of a passing hurricane, homeowners should secure their possessions on upper levels of the structure. If people decide not to stay at home, they should make the necessary arrangements before the passing of a hurricane on where they will stay to ride out the passing of the storm system. They should not wait until the last moment to evacuate their home as rising storm waters can also flood coastal roads.

“The most important link in the chain of preparation and response for coastal flooding is you. Take the necessary measures to prepare your family and home, according to the Office of Disaster Management,” a release from the Department of Communications stated.

The check list if people have to leave their home before a hurricane strike due to high storm surge that is expected includes turn off water and gas; have a radio and spare batteries; a first aid kit; flashlight; spare bedding; bottled water and tinned food; house keys; prescription medicine; cash and credit cards; mobile phone and spare clothing.

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