On Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs chaired her first preparedness meeting involving 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) that make-up the country’s national disaster coordination system.
Department Head of the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) briefed the Prime Minister and ESF coordinators with respect to the forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
Thereafter, each ESF coordinator presented an overview of their state of national preparedness for the season.
The 10 ESFs are: ESF-1 NV GEBE Electricity/Water Production; ESF-2 Bureau Telecommunications & Post (BTP); ESF-3 Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI); ESF-4 Fire Department; ESF-5 Police Department; ESF-6 Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Medical Assistance; ESF-7 Ministry VSA Evacuation, Shelters, Relief and Mass Casualties; ESF-8 Department of Communication (DCOMM); ESF-9 Ministry of General Affairs; and ESF-10 Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT).
The hurricane season officially starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th.
On Tuesday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its forecast for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, predicting an above-normal season - busy season ahead.
For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six (6) to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three (3) to six (6) major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.
The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting 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 – SXMGOV 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 or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is appealing to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and let’s ‘Be Prepared’ for the hurricane season.
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!
PHOTO CUTLINE: Several members of the ESFs along with support staff in a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs (seated – center - at the head of the table) supported by National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson (seated to the right of the prime minister).