St. Maarten Prime Minister to chair first EOC/ESF Meeting on WednesdayPOSTED: 05/31/11 11:36 AM
St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Chairman of the Island’s Disaster Emergency Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), comprising of 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), will chair the first meeting of the EOC for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Wednesday, June 1. During the meeting she will be briefed on the national state of preparedness for the 2011 Hurricane Season. Hurricane scientists have forecasted an above-average season in terms of named storms, hurricane and major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).
“Reminders of preparing for a forecasted busy season shouldn’t take much to get people’s attention, after hearing and witnessing week after week about the deadly tornados in the United States and other natural disasters world-wide. Taking extra precautions for an active hurricane season is the sensible and right thing to do now, and not wait for the last moment,” Wescot-Williams told DCOMM on Monday.
The Prime Minister was referring to the most recent tornado activity in Joplin, Missouri which has killed more than 140 people to date. The US town is still reeling from a direct hit by a powerful tornado. This spring, more than 500 people lost their lives due to an active tornado season across the mid-Western United States.
“We hope and pray that whatever storms make their way across the Atlantic Ocean that they turn and remain out in the open ocean posing no threat to land. But, there’s no way to tell where a hurricane will go and therefore we must be prepared. We have learnt from several recent seasons, when our nation was under threat of a hurricane or directly or partially impacted by one that being prepared allowed us to weather the storm until things normalized. The majority of us are well aware of the destruction a hurricane can bring, but also aware of how early preparations can save us much anxiety and loss. Remember, it only takes one,” Wescot-Williams concluded.
The 2011 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.