ODM: Stage being set for Busy Hurricane Season. Time to Check/Restock Your Disaster Supply Kit
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 being caused by an on-going La Nina and warmer-than-average Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea surface temperatures, setting the stage for a 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 Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, said on Tuesday appeals to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and let?s ?Be Prepared? for the hurricane season.
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.
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.
Now is the time 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.
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/
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!