Enhanced hurricane guide available on govt. website | THE DAILY HERALD

Cedric Peterson of DComm (second right) presents an updated hurricane tracking chart and guide to Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin (centre) with Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever, Finance Minister Perry Geerlings and Education Minister Wycliffe Smith in attendance, at the Government Administration Building.

HARBOUR VIEW–The Department of Communication DComm has enhanced the Hurricane Readiness Guide on government’s website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane. The guide has information for the community to use when preparing for the hurricane season, as well as critical information for during and after a weather event.

The guide tab is “a great communication resource” that will assist residents and visitors about the importance of hurricane preparedness and being more involved and conscious of a storm/hurricane and its possible effects, said Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin in the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

She commended DComm for putting together the special website page with its multiple tabs of information on hurricane preparedness as part of its larger communication campaign for the 2019 hurricane season.

The Hurricane Readiness Guide has eight tabs with information covering: Be Prepared, List of Shelters for 2019, Storm Preparations, Staying Safe, Post-Storm Safety, The Checklist, Hurricane Items Maximum Price list of goods, and List of Emergency Numbers.

The public is urged visit the online guide and explore its contents fully. “It is important to be proactive in knowing what one has to do before and after a disaster strikes,” said the prime minister.

The “Disaster Prep Sint Maarten” app is available for download via the guide page. The app has information on Disaster and Risk management, Emergency numbers, Emergency Support Function (ESF) groups and regular updates. Whether it is a hurricane or a fire, the app contains information about how to prepare and what to do during a disaster. The app is currently only accessible to Android users.

A hurricane charting map is also available for download via the site and in the app. This will help with tracking the route of a hurricane and gives information about the government’s disaster management organisational structure.

Hard copies of the tracking chart are available free of charge at the Government Administration Building reception desk, the Labour Affairs Service Desk, and the Public Service Centre Information Desk.

DComm is also working on public service announcements covering hurricane preparedness tips in English, Spanish, and French. The tips will highlight being prepared before a storm/ hurricane, staying safe at various stages as a storm/hurricane approaches, specific advice about what to do to stay safe, being aware of threats, outlining the items of a hurricane supply kit, and other safety tips.

While some English public service announcements have been playing since June, others will begin shortly in the next one to two weeks.

In addition to the announcement, DComm has also completed a new Hurricane Special. This special became available as of noon Wednesday on Facebook.com/sxmgov,

Youtube.com/sxmgov and government’s website. It will also be broadcast on Cable TV Channel 115 at 7:00pm Friday, July 26.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89436-enhanced-hurricane-guide-available-on-govt-website


  1. So I’ve read it all and I miss quite a few items and tips. Here are a few tips to prepare before a hurricane:
    1) On a free day go visit several supermarkets, (hardware) stores and take your time to make a list with prices of non-perishable food items, snacks and bottled drinks that can be stored at room temperature and that can be eaten straight from the pack or can in case you cannot cook the meals. This way you know upfront how much money you should reserve for buying food when a hurricane does approach. When a hurricane does approach you are prepared and you don’t need to panic where to get everything in a short time. a) have the money reserved for all food items when a hurricane approaches. b) Have the list of food items ready (of the items of your preference) and at which supermarkets they should be available. This way you can shop quick and efficiently without wasting time finding the right items.
    Go to (hardware) stores and buy workman gloves, rubber boots that fit, gasoline or diesel canisters for your car and/or generator. batteries for flashlights, radio, battery packs for (smart) phones. Also shop for potable drinking water containers and grey water containers for washing and flushing the toilet. Water you used for washing hands and body can be used to flush toilets in case GEBE water is not available.
    !! The government advises to have water and non-perishable food available for 3-7 days. How long did it take for the first stores to open up after hurricane Irma? Right, several months! Prepare well.
    2) Most people have a gas/propane bottle outside their home for cooking. When a hurricane approaches, Disconnect and close of the gas bottle and store inside in a save, well ventilated place. This prevents your gas bottle turning into a potential flying bomb. Next to that, you are sure to have cooking gas after the hurricane.
    3) If your home has a (drinking water) cistern, make sure the water intakes from the roof are closed of, blocked or pointing away from the cistern. People who don’t do so, will find dirt and leave debris contaminating their water cistern rendering it useless.
    4) Talk to your neighbors and help each other cleaning up around the house. Working together makes it easier and more fun together.
    5) If you have a car and you cannot shelter it safely close to home, ask if you can do so with neighbors, friends or even at indoors parking garages from hotels or businesses.
    6) If you have a generator, test it once monthly. Let it run for 5 to 10 minutes. You don’t want to find out after a hurricane that your generator fails.
    7) If you have friends/family overseas, inform them upfront with different ways to get in contact with you after a hurricane. Think of phone numbers, emails etc. of your self, family, neighbors, work that would be able to know how you are doing or would be able to get in contact with you. Also consider a cheap spare phone with a (prepaid) card from ‘the other’ phone operator. And have a list of phone numbers on paper in case your phone fails, gets damaged or lost.
    8) Message to GEBE: You idiots (management – not the engineers) should have all water storage tanks filled to the edge at ALL times. Even outside hurricane season. If those water storage tanks were filled to the top before hurricane Irma, people would not suffer that much of water shortage, storage tanks would stay intact, would save GEBE tens of millions not having to replace dozens of water storage tanks.
    9) DON’T LOOT. In case you did not have enough food or water, many stores sell for reduced prices their canned food or even give it away for free. Talk with the people in your neighborhood to have a neighborhood watch. Stealing / looting is a crime and many people are fed up with that. People are also fed up with the lax response to looting by the government. Next time store and home owners will be more vigilant and will not hesitate to attack and injure or even kill looters.
    My message to the government is to do everything in your power to a) prevent looting by calling for a state of emergency BEFORE the hurricane hits. b) If looting does strike, have police and military strike hard. Arrest them or shoot them. If you don’t, we will. We don’t tolerate a government that is indecisive or lacks about looting, and we don’t tolerate looters anymore. This is NOT a call to take the law into your own hands. If the government shows they are prepared for looters and show decisive action against looters, then we don’t need to do so our selves.

    If looting did not happen after hurricane Irma, a lot of stores could have opened shortly after the hurricane to provide people with the items they need. Restoration of homes and businesses could have started way earlier and as a result, St. Maarten wouldn’t have wasted so much money.

    PS: To the looters of GEBE transformers: the financial gain of stealing copper and other metals is negligent, not to mention the HUGE discomfort you cause by blacking out whole areas. If you get caught, I call for a sentence to the electrical chair, powered by GEBE of course 😉