ODM: Hurricane Season Opened with First Named Storm. Be Prepared and Remain Vigilant
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Office of Disaster Management which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, said on Thursday that a week ago the first named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season developed.
Tropical Storm Arlene developed in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida last week on June 1 – the opening of the hurricane season - but has since dissipated. Richardson said that this is a stark reminder that we have entered the hurricane season and must be prepared.
Richardson is once again calling on the nation, the community, and the business community, to take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves in the event of a storm/hurricane threat; to remain vigilant and ready to take action when called upon to do so to protect life and property.
Sint Maarten has experienced two "once in a lifetime" storms, namely the most recent, Irma six years ago and Luis 28 years ago, but according to weather forecasters, these types of major hurricanes are becoming more frequent due to climate change and become commonplace in the Caribbean Region.
The Colorado State University (CSU) Department of Atmospheric Science has updated its preliminary forecast for April with a new forecast early June, that calls for a near-average hurricane season.
The number of named storms forecasted by the CSU is 15 of which seven (7) are to become hurricanes, and of those three (3) could become major hurricanes of Category 3+.
The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and resources you need on how to prepare your family, home, or business for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government of Sint Maarten website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” The information here is also valuable for new residents.
The storm names for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season are:
Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
Listen to the Government Radio station SXMGOV – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after a hurricane. You can also follow weather-related news and information as well as national addresses by the Prime Minister, chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) by going to @SXMGOV's Facebook Page.
For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com
While preparing for a tropical storm/hurricane strike, misinformation can spread during times of uncertainty, and therefore it is vital to monitor official sources of information and always verify before you share.
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared this hurricane season!