Fire Chief and National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is once again appealing to the community of Sint Maarten to be prepared as the country is now in the peak period of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
Continue to remain vigilant and monitor daily weather reports from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com
An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. The 2020 season is like no other and has already seen the 15th named storm form.
According to forecasters, the 15th named storm like the other storms with letters C, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, and O, have all formed ahead of the other storms on record. There are only six names left in the English alphabet this year for storm names. The World Meteorological Organization will transition to the Greek alphabet which was also the case in 2005 if all names are used up.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce – National Hurricane Center (NHC) falls under the NOAA – most recent upgraded outlook calls for up to 25-named storms, of which seven to 11 will become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes of Category 3 or more.
The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.
Richardson is calling on the community to use the time now to re-check storm preparations and to be prepared for the remaining months of the 2020 hurricane season.
The community and new residents are 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.”
In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.
Richardson added that there was no time to become complacent. Every household and business operation have a personal responsibility to make sure they are storm ready by cleaning-up yards and surroundings of any debris that could blow away in the event of a storm/hurricane. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad season.
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action – storm ready!
The ODM is urging residents to check hurricane shutters and the roof of their home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.
Mariners who are seeking shelter in the Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond should also make plans to stay with friends or at a hotel once they have secured their vessel in a timely manner rather than staying on-board the vessel to ride out the passing of a storm.
Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!