EOC concludes national preparedness level is good

POSTED: 06/1/12 12:26 PM
A section of the participants at Tuesday’s meeting to assess preparedness for the 2012 Hurricane season which begins today.

St. Maarten – Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Winston Salomon chaired his second pre-hurricane season meeting on Tuesday. These meetings are held to assess national state of preparedness for the hurricane season. All stakeholders present representing the 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), gave an update and according to Disaster Section Head Paul Martens, the general state of preparedness and readiness is good.

The hurricane shelters have been identified which is similar to the listing of 2011.  Some upgrading of the shelters will take place within short.

ESF-5/Police is working on a curfew plan, roadblock controls and traffic circulation based on different scenarios. ESF-8/Department of Communication reported that the annual hurricane awareness campaign started with a statement issued by the Prime Minister mid-May calling on the nation to be hurricane ready.

The Meteorological Services is working with the Dutch Meteorological Service (KNMI) to get the weather radar back into service. ESF-2/Telecommunications (TELEM) is addressing weak spots within the cellular network. ESF-3/Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure has started cleaning trenches, has almost finished a new flood water pump system and developed emergency contingency plans for constructions areas such as Dutch Quarter, Middle Region and Cay Hill.

ESF-7/Social Services reports that community help desk personnel will be involved with the hurricane shelters by providing district information and identifying people with special needs who will need assistance in the event of a hurricane strike.

Appeal

Salomon is once again appealing to the community to make sure they have plans in place for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season which officially begins today. The season has already seen the birth of two tropical storms (Alberto, Beryl) even before the official start of the season.

The U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the parent body of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami, Florida, predicts a near-normal 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. The forecasts calls for nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight can strengthen to become hurricanes, and of that one to three can become major hurricanes.

The remaining names of potential storms for the 2012 season are: Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William.

The 2012 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.

 

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