Fire Chief: Residents should be prepared | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG– Fire Chief and National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson is once again appealing to the community to be prepared for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in its recent hurricane season forecast update that there is the chance of an above-normal hurricane season.

Richardson is calling on the community to use the time now to re-check storm preparations and to be prepared for the remaining months of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting government’s website where persons will be able to download a “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide” and “Hurricane Tracking Chart”.

Person will also be able to download the Disaster Prep Sint Maarten app for Android phones at

The app for Apple phones is not yet available at the Apple Store.

Richardson said there is no time to become complacent. “Every household and business operation has a personal responsibility to make sure they are storm-ready by cleaning up yards and surroundings of any debris that could blow away in the event of a storm/hurricane. Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad season.”

The number of predicted storms is also greater, with NOAA now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 miles per hour or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111mph or greater).

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action. An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. Two named storms have already developed for the season: Andrea and Barry.

The remaining storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

ODM urges residents to check hurricane shutters and the roof of their home or business and to make sure windows and shutters close securely. Mariners who are seeking shelter in Simpson Bay Lagoon or Oyster Pond should also make plans to stay with friends or at a hotel once they have secured their vessel in a timely manner rather than staying on board the vessel to ride out the passing of a storm.

The public can listen to government radio station 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS):

Source: The Daily Herald