St. Maarten Prime Minister urges nation to prepare for busy 2011 Atlantic hurricane season

POSTED: 05/19/11 12:15 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Chairman of the Island’s Disaster Emergency Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), is calling on the community to make timely preparations for the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season and to have the necessary plans in place by June 1st, the beginning of the season. The season officially runs through November 30.

Colorado State University hurricane team Phil Klotzbach and William Gray have forecasted in their April report that the season will be above-average with 16 named storms. Nine of those are predicted to become hurricanes, and five of those will become major hurricanes with winds over 111 miles per hour. Another forecast will be presented by the hurricane team early June.

Even though the official start of the season is about two weeks away, the Prime Minister is urging residents to use this period to prepare themselves adequately by reviewing their annual hurricane season preparatory list. The country’s disaster preparedness and emergency management mechanism are expected to be ready to deal with any eventuality arising during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.

“It has been projected that the 2011 season will be an active one. I am encouraging the nation to begin to prepare now, so as to mitigate the effects of a hurricane disaster. Use the time now wisely to prepare your homes, businesses and other buildings. It makes no sense to leave major preparations until days or hours before a hurricane is forecasted to strike. Save yourself the stress and prepare now by reviewing your disaster plan and reviewing your disaster supply kit. Prepare early and avoid being caught unprepared. Minimize your dependence on government, family or friends. Preparedness starts with every one of us within our communities,” Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday.

Some of the preparations that should be carried out now are the removal of debris from around homes and businesses; checking hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business to make sure windows close securely and there are no weak spots in the roof. People living along coastal areas as well as those in flood prone areas should start looking at what measures they will take in the event of a hurricane or flood.


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