Prime Minister and National Disaster Coordinator calls on nation to re-check hurricane season preparations as Tropical Storm Danny churns out in Atlantic

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Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, chairman of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the National Disaster Coordinator Fire Chief Clive Richardson, are calling on residents to re-check their preparations for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, adding that this should have been done since June 1st when the season started.

The fourth storm of the season has formed, Tropical Storm Danny.  It is forecast to become a hurricane.  Residents and visitors are advised to monitor the progress of Danny closely even though it’s over 1300 miles away from the Lesser Antilles.

Coordinators from the 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) of the country’s disaster management system have been instructed to review implementation action plans and to start pre-preparations in the event Danny should pose a threat to the country.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten will be keeping the public informed as this storm approaches the Lesser Antilles.  The Governments Emergency Radio Broadcast System is also operational and on standby if necessary.  Radio listeners can tune in to 107.9 FM.

Residents, vacation-home owners, businesses and the yachting community are advised to use the next couple of days to check their hurricane preparation plans; review hurricane shutters and check what furniture and outdoor items should be removed in the event of a hurricane threat; use the time now to repair or purchase any items needed to secure your home or business; villa/home rental management agencies should check the aforementioned to make sure they are storm-ready; livestock owners should review their own storm preparations; warehouses/storage depots should check their surroundings and make sure they are storm ready in the event of a threat to the country.

Contractors and builders should review their site hurricane preparation plans as was already advised by the ODM back in July; review what items at the building site may need to be secured in the event of a threat; residents of homes along the coasts are requested to review their plans and to be ready to take action in the event of a passing storm/hurricane.

“Residents, vacation-home owners, businesses as well as the yachting community should use the next couple of days to review their preparations for the hurricane season.  We have Danny out in the Atlantic and the aforementioned should be ready to take the necessary action when required to do so.

“Everybody should have learnt from the past.  Don’t wait until the last minute to check around your home and business or check your boat.  Do so in the coming days as it is better to be safe than sorry.  We have now entered the busy part of the hurricane season which runs from mid-August to mid-October.  Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season.  Make sure you are ready and prepared,” Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs said on Wednesday.

The 10 ESFs are: GEBE/ESF-1, TelEm Group/ESF-2, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI)/ESF-3, Fire Department/ESF-4, Police Department/ESF-5, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour/ESF-6 and 7, Department of Communication/ESF-8, Ministry of General Affairs/ESF-9, and Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT)/ESF-10.

The remaining storm names for the Atlantic season are Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicolas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

The 2015 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.

PHOTO CUTLINE: File Photo: Seated at the head of the table is National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson (left) and Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs (right) in discussion with coordinators from the 10 ESFs back in June 2015 in preparation for the season. DCOMM Photo