Wednesday, 1st December 2010 – Yesterday marked the official end of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season. The Virgin Islands were fortunately not impacted by any direct hits from major storms this year. While it is a time to reflect on and be thankful for our good fortune, we need to maintain guard against complacency. Earthquakes, floods, epidemics, and other hazardous events, including hurricanes, can strike at any time. Many remember that Tropical Storm Zeta formed on December 29th, 2005, and Hurricane Lili formed on December 20th, 1984.
On June 1st DDM launched the hurricane campaign – “Stay Alert, Stay Alive, This Hurricane Season.” The Department again partnered with all local media to provide guidance for residents, through public information and education, as they made their preparations for what was predicted to be an extremely active Hurricane Season. Such preparations are vital to the safety of residents and the wellbeing of our infrastructure. Too often we emphasize how we respond to emergencies and how we recover from disasters. However, preparedness will reduce the damage that disasters cause, and allow us to recover quicker, and get on with our lives sooner, rather than later.
The DDM will continue to highlight the importance of having disaster plans and evacuation procedures for homes, schools, workplaces, recreation areas and entertainment venues. All residents need to know the location of all Emergency Shelters, and all businesses need to have Business Continuity Plans. We should never let our guard down. Being impacted is not a matter of “if” but “when.” Remember, it is better to prepare and prevent, rather than to repair, and repent.