BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, May 23, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – With just over a week to go before the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis are being urged to put the necessary measures in place now to protect life and property during the upcoming season – which is predicted to be active.
Speaking with the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister today, Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, National Disaster Coordinator Carl Herbert said those who have not yet initiated their preparedness plans should begin doing so now, in anticipation of what he said will be an “active hurricane season.”
The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30.
A total of 11 named storms – including six hurricanes, two of which are major hurricanes – are expected to form this season. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Mr. Herbert added, “Be in an ongoing state of preparedness and keep listening to the local media for information throughout the season.”
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), according to Mr. Herbert, has been mobilizing the various committees at the national and institutional levels since February of this year in a build-up to the hurricane season.
“We are working closely with our volunteers in each of the eight districts on St. Kitts,” the NEMA official stated.
“We have launched since early this year a NEMA Volunteer Registration Recruitment Process towards strengthening the existing group of volunteers as part of capacity building and institutional strengthening so that we can know who are interested in assisting in the event of an impact,” he added.
Acknowledging that early planning is key to successful management during the hurricane season, Dr. Harris stated that, “As Prime Minister, I endorse the call of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for all residents to begin now or to continue to put the necessary preparations in place to protect life and property.”
The Honourable Prime Minister also appealed for individuals and families to “make special and early preparations for those vulnerable individuals around us such as the shut-ins, the children, the diabetics, the blind, the deaf and other residents with special dietary needs and medical conditions.”
The business community is also being asked to play its role in helping residents prepare for the imminent hurricane season.
Prime Minister Harris added: “I appeal to the business community to make such items as portable generators, tarpaulins, flashlights, batteries, radios and other non-perishable items available at specially discounted prices.”
Prime Minister Harris also disclosed that the Federal Cabinet has since activated the National Disaster Preparedness Committee, which is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards.