As the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season gets underway,
there’s a unified call for residents of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to Be
Smart, Reduce Risks and Be Prepared.
In their respective messages to mark the official
start of the season, His Excellency, Governor Boyd McCleary and Premier, Dr.
the Hon. D. Orlando Smith encouraged residents to take the necessary measures
to reduce vulnerability.
Their clarion call to avoid complacency comes against
the backdrop of the trough experienced in the BVI in early May which brought
significant rainfall to the BVI, leading to the collapse of some retaining
In his message, Governor McCleary noted the
predictions for less than normal activity this season but encouraged
preparedness nonetheless. “We cannot be complacent. The BVI remains vulnerable to
hurricanes and other tropical storms. While we cannot eliminate that threat, we
can reduce our risks by being prepared,” he stated.
offered a number of useful tips for home and business owners. “Preparedness
starts with you – Be smart, Reduce Risks and Be prepared. Trim nearby trees; clear
debris blocking drains; check home and auto insurances policies to ensure they
are valid; install permanent window shutters; have your roofs inspected, store
valuables in water-proof containers and know the location of the nearest
emergency shelter,” he advised.
message, the Premier encouraged the population to heighten awareness, minimise risks
and reduce vulnerability. “Hurricanes
are natural events that cannot be avoided. However, by preparing adequately,
and adhering to the advice of our disaster management officials, we can minimise
The Premier noted the
ongoing work of the Department of Disaster Management and the Public
Information and Education (PIE) Sub-Committee of the National Disaster
Management Council to sensitise the public through a series of educational
campaigns designed to prepare residents for hazards such as landslides, earthquakes,
tsunamis, floods, and hurricanes.
Like the Governor, the
Premier offered some salient advice to residents of the Territory. “As part of
your preparation for the hurricane season be sure to make an emergency kit with
appropriate items such as water, non-perishable food, batteries or a battery
charger and a First Aid kit; develop a family emergency and evacuation plan; stay
informed by obtaining official information via radio, television or online.”
predict less than normal activity given the likelihood of El Nino developing,
they caution that there is still the possibility of strong cyclones developing.
Much attention is being paid to areas around the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of
Mexico where forecasters say there is potential for development very early in the
season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1
to November 30.
The messages from the Governor and Premier can be
heard and seen on local radio and television this week, starting on ZBVI 780 AM
at 5:30 p.m.; CBN Channel 51 at 7:00 p.m.; JTV Channel 55 at 6:00, 7:25 and
8:00 p.m. The messages are also available via the DDM website and Facebook
pages at www.bviddm.com and www.facebook.com/bvi.ddm.