An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been forecasted by the U.S. National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center with up to 19-named storms, of which 10 could become hurricanes, and of those, six could become major hurricanes of Category 3 or more.
An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, and three of those major hurricanes.
Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson is calling on residents and the business community to start preparing for the hurricane season.
“Our national disaster management system commenced preparations earlier this month. This includes all 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) and other relevant agencies, who have been working diligently to create a sound disaster risk management plan that is currently in the execution phase in order to save lives and minimize damage from hurricanes,” Richardson said on Tuesday.
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) calls on residents to review the content of their Disaster Kit and to start restocking it with the essentials that are necessary to ride out the hurricane season.
Every household’s Disaster Kit should be able to support members of the household for a minimum of seven days after the hurricane has passed.
The Disaster Kit should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license, insurance papers in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.
If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Government mandated measures are in place in order to protect public health. The aforementioned must also be taken into consideration for hurricane season preparations.
Your Disaster Kit must also include hand sanitizer, a soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.
Preparations for the Atlantic hurricane season should be done in a timely manner to avoid the rush. Your Disaster Kit should be completed by the end of June and the latest before the end of July. Hurricane season preparations have to be in place before the start of the peak of the season (mid-August – mid-October).
Use the quiet period of the season which is from early June to the end of July to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure and the latter are working.
For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay at family or friends.
Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. Be Prepared as its your responsibility!
The 2020 hurricane season ends November 30.