The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is thanking the Territory for its diligence in staying prepared throughout the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which ends today, November 30.
DDM Director Jasen Penn said, “We are very grateful that the Virgin Islands did not experience major impacts this hurricane season, but even more grateful that the community was able to work together to #BeReady.”
The director said that the 2022 hurricane season was an unusual one.
“Forecasters initially observed several factors that would typically point toward a more active season. However, with the lingering Sahara Dust in the area, we actually saw lower than average activity in the early part of the season,” Mr. Penn said.
No tropical systems formed during the month of August, which has only been observed during two prior season since 1950. Also unexpected was the rare formation of two storms during November, a month that would usually see only one system form.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, this season produced 14 named storms, including eight hurricanes. Two systems – Fiona and Ian – strengthened to major hurricanes before dissipating.
Mr. Penn said such surprises are likely to be the norm as global climate change impacts continue, which should remind all residents to stay vigilant when it comes to being prepared for hazards like tropical storms.
“Even though the hurricane season has concluded, we know that storms can continue to form outside of the season. We also know that we are vulnerable to other hazards like earthquakes, so it continues to be very important for individuals and businesses to stay prepared,” he said.
Residents can access resources to help them plan and prepare for possible disasters, including the emergency shelter list, emergency plan templates for families, and continuity planning templates for businesses, on the DDM website www.bviddm.com.