Start Preparing your Disaster Supply Kit
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The U.S. National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center last week released its 2019 Atlantic hurricane season forecast which calls for up to 15-named storms of which up to eight could become hurricanes and four major hurricanes.
The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) would like to remind the Sint Maarten population that the start of the 2019 hurricane season is just days away, and every household and business should start with pre-storm preparations.
ODM reminds everyone that ‘It only takes one storm to change your life and community.’ We live in the hurricane belt, and therefore you need to be prepared.
Therefore, it is very important to start preparing early, and one of the first things that you need is a Disaster Supply Kit (DSK).
A DSK would contain necessary supplies to take care of a family for up to five-seven days after a storm has passed the island. A devastating hurricane could leave the country without water and electricity for several days if not longer, and therefore it is very important to have a minimum of one week of supplies for each person in the household.
The DSK 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); 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 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.
ODM, is advising all residents to begin to prepare timely for the Atlantic hurricane season, and to have the DSK and othe pre-storm plans in place before August 1 in time for the peak of the season (mid-August – mid-October).
Use the quiet period of the season which is from early June to the end of July 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.
For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay at family, friends. Remember, to use the time now to prepare and plan ahead. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. Be Prepared!
The 2019 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.