PM Drew warns of intense Hurricane Season, calls on SKN to prepare

PM Drew warns of intense Hurricane Season, calls on SKN to prepare

St Kitts and Nevis residents have been told to make the necessary preparations for this year’s Hurricane Season.

In an address on Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew told islanders that forecasts predict the season will be above average and has characteristics of some of the most intense years on record, including 1878, 1926, 1998, 2010, and 2020.

“I urge all citizens to prepare diligently. Ensure that you have an emergency plan in place, and if you do not, please contact the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for guidance and assistance,” he said.

“Stock up on essential supplies, ensure that your property is secured and insured, and stay informed through reliable sources of weather updates, such as the local Met Service and the local disaster management offices. Our emergency services are ready to respond, but individual preparedness is crucial to minimize risks and ensure safety.”

The 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season started on June 1 and is expected to run until November 30.

Forecasters at the Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said there is a high chance for the Hurricane Season to be above normal.

The region can expect to see between 17 and 25 named storms, with winds of 39 mph or higher, develop. Of those storms, between four and seven are expected to become major hurricanes.

The prime minister noted the active season could be attributed to climate change.

Drew said engagements between the government and private sector have begun in an effort to streamline preparation and response to tropical cyclones.

“Our national subcommittees have been meeting and carrying out activities to prepare the nation’s infrastructure, ensure our social programmes are adequate, and our environmental conditions are resilient against the impact of these potential cyclones. These activities include clearing waterways better known as ghauts, our drainage networks, and ensuring that emergency shelters are in a habitable state,” he said.

“Some of our critical sectors such as healthcare, tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, and utilities, among many other sectors, are continuously working to ensure that remain in a state of readiness to respond to and recover from any eventuality. Our food service suppliers and distributors have assured us that they have an adequate stock of food supplies to sustain us throughout the hurricane season. Additionally, our air and seaports are continually enhancing their resilience against the threats and risks associated with cyclonic hazards.”

Drew said he hopes St Kitts and Nevis remains a resilient nation and he hopes the country escapes impacts from storms.

  • PublishedJune 2, 2024

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