Hurricane Pass Application Process Starts May 3. No passes for business owners and hotel staff

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The application process for the annual Hurricane Passes for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season which starts June 1 and runs through November 30, commences on May 3.

There have been some changes to the pass system for 2016.  No passes will be distributed to business owners and hotel staff.

The Simpson Bay Public Service Center (PSC) near the Simpson Bay Bridge is also an additional customer service point where the application form can be submitted.  The PSC will also be a pick-up location for the approved pass.

The pass will allow the bearer to access the public road to assess possible damage to their property and to continue their operations which are vital for society as soon as possible.  This can only take place during certain hours that will be stipulated and announced by the Prime Minister in a curfew situation.

Potential applicants have until May 27 to present all relevant information related to the process of requesting a Hurricane Pass.

Passes are issued to the following crucial disaster relief organizations: Emergency Operations Center, Emergency Support Services, Crucial governmental organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations involved in disaster management such as St. Maarten Medical Center, Red Cross, WIMA, WIENS, White & Yellow Cross, National Security Service VDSM, Public Prosecutor’s Office, Sea Rescue, Shelter Management, Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten, and Ministers and their drivers.

The following categories also qualify for the requesting of a pass for essential personnel: Government personnel without a disaster pass; NV GEBE, Seven Seas Water, Telecom and Internet providers, Cable TV and Satellite providers, Princess Juliana International Airport (including airline personnel), Port St. Maarten, SOL, Texaco, Gas stations, and medium and large sized supermarkets.  Passes will be valid for two years.

(Sub) contractors and their staff, hired by the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), who are involved in the clean-up after a storm, will be provided with special passes through the ministry.

The Hurricane Pass application procedure is only intended for key personnel of crucial organizations as listed.

The Office of Disaster Management that falls under the Ministry of General Affairs is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The Hurricane Pass system is a mechanism to maintain public order during emergency situations.  The Prime Minister assesses the damage in conjunction with Emergency Disaster Management entities of the Government after a disaster has occurred and can impose a curfew if the extent of the damage poses a threat to the safety and security of the community.

After a disaster has struck, and a curfew has been imposed, the public roads can only be accessed by emergency crews.  The Prime Minister will ensure that the curfew is limited to the essential time that is needed to execute emergency and disaster relief and recovery efforts.

An application form can be requested by sending an email to:hurricanepassrequest@sintmaartengov.org

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5 (Office hours MondayFriday 9.00AM to 4.00PM), Cay Hill or at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center, (Monday-Friday 8.30AM to 12.00PM and 1.00PM to 3.30PM) Airport Road 6, before May 27, 2016, with all necessary documents attached.

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned addresses.