The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) said on Thursday that Food wholesalers and warehouse depots are requested to have their facilities storm/hurricane ready and to review their plans of action for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
The aforementioned should be prepared to secure their properties in the event of a storm/hurricane threat. Key weather forecasters have already indicated that the season will be a busy one.
The sixth-named storm of the season formed on Tuesday, Tropical Storm Fay, off the southeast U.S. coast. This becomes the earliest 6th named storm on record, eight weeks ahead of the average sixth named storm formation according to weather forecasters.
National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson is appealing to the business community to use the time now to prepare or review their current pre-storm/hurricane plans and contingency plans.
“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is here and along with this we have an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Every effort must be made despite the current situation to be prepared to take timely action in clearing the surroundings of storage areas of loose pallets and other materials in the event of a weather-related threat to the country,” Richardson pointed out on Thursday.
Every business has a role to play in being storm ready for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
Materials such as plywood, shipping pallets, food pallets, and pieces of metal used to secure pallet shipments, can easily become flying missiles capable of impaling brick or wooden walls, zinc roofs or anything in its way.
It is the responsibility of the business owner to have plans in place to remove any materials and/or have them properly secured on the property where their business is located within a short period of time in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the country.
Business owners and households are strongly advised to review their hurricane preparation plans and to adjust and address any weaknesses in those plans because you have the time now to do so before the peak period the season begins mid-August.
The primary objective is the protection of people first and foremost, property and surrounding residential areas second.
When a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued 48-hours before a system is forecasted to hit the country, businesses should activate their business resilience hurricane preparedness plans – take action.
For general information about preparing prior to a storm/hurricane strike, visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” 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
Remember, be prepared and storm ready!