Talks ongoing with Curaçao, Aruba about storm support | THE DAILY HERALD

POND ISLAND–Government has ongoing discussions with sister Dutch Caribbean islands Aruba and Curaçao to define the processes that will ensure the delivery of support prior to and after a storm or hurricane threat to St. Maarten.

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin told the press on Wednesday: “Whether it may be military, governmental, medical or civilian support, the government of St. Maarten will be able to count on external support from the Dutch Kingdom partners.”

The discussions are part of the ongoing activities related to hurricane preparedness ahead of the start of the six-month storm season on June 1.

Also on the preparedness calendar, the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF in collaboration with the Court of Guardianship will host its second “Child Protection in Emergencies” workshop May 27-28.

Romeo-Marlin said of the workshop that it is important for parents to be prepared before a disaster just in case the decision is made to evacuate or relocate a child/ren to another country. “Proper procedures must be followed to ensure the safety and security of our children,” she said.

The second Hurricane Expo will be held on June 22. This year, the plans include a series of information sessions targeted at the communities to give residents an opportunity to question to the Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), non-governmental organisations and key stakeholders about the information provided in the sessions.

The annual Hurricane Exercise Drill HUREX will be at the end of June. All the members of the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) will test their readiness and capacities as response organizations.

Following the HUREX, the EOC will meet on July 5 for the Disaster Preparedness Conference, themed “Communication is Critical” with emphasis on internal and external communication. A disaster emergency app will be launched at the conference. This app will provide users with information, warnings and alerts about disasters on St. Maarten.

The prime minister urges residents to focus on their hurricane preparedness by outlining, among other things, an emergency family plan that takes into account children’s wellbeing, household emergency supplies, all insurances, safeguarding important documents and access to communication sources.

She also reminded residents “to be vigilant and act responsibly by avoiding the spread of information that does not originate from official government sources.”

Source: The Daily Herald