ODM: Be Prepared! Time to Check/Restock Your Disaster Supply Kit. | SMN NEWS

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):— The Office of Disaster Management (ODM), which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, appeals to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and let ‘Be Prepared’ for a forecasted extremely active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season which begins on Saturday, June 1 and runs through November 30.

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); 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.

Suppose you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren). In that case, you must also 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 is working.

For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay with 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. There, you can 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. You can also follow weather-related news and information and national addresses by the Prime Minister, chairperson 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 or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!

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