June 20, 20121446Views

Good Day, I am Governor Boyd McCleary

June 1st marks the beginning of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season
and it is important that the entire Territory is prepared for the destructive
hazards associated with this natural phenomenon.

Forecasters have predicted a less active season, with a
probability of 10 named storms, with four possibly developing into hurricanes.
Of these four, two are predicted to become major hurricanes of Category 3
strength or higher.  But ladies and gentlemen, regardless of the outlook,
it is vital for everyone living or vacationing in the Virgin Islands to take
precautionary measures and be prepared.

As we enter the Hurricane Season, we join with the Department of
Disaster Management in promoting the three “Be’s” in 2012; “Be Aware! Be
Prepared! Be Alert!”

“Being Aware” is having information on hurricanes, their effects
and how they can impact your lives. More importantly, it speaks to you having
knowledge of what you should do to be prepared. According to scientists,
hurricanes are the most powerful storms on Earth. Just one of them can produce
enough energy to sustain several countries for a whole year! A hurricane with
strong winds and torrential rainfall can last for hours and has the potential
to cause death, injury, and widespread property damage.

“Being Prepared” includes developing a family emergency plan,
creating or updating your emergency kit, securing important documents and
valuables in safe – water proof containers and locations and securing your home
and surroundings. Preparedness also involves ensuring that your community is
ready. A prepared community means a more resilient community, ensuring a quick
and efficient path to recovery in the event of an impact. Equally important,
businesses should be prepared with emergency plans and Business Continuity
plans to facilitate a more rapid return to normalcy after an impact.

“Being Alert” means that you know where to obtain reliable
information and you stay abreast of updates once a system develops by following
information from local media and the DDM. Being alert also means that you will
tie up any loose ends before the impact of a hurricane.

The official six-month storm season began June 1st. This year,
Tropical Storm Alberto formed in the middle of May off the coast of South
Carolina in the United States and Tropical Storm Beryl manifested soon
thereafter. This bears testament to the unpredictability of these powerful
tropical storm systems. Because of this, we absolutely need to Be Aware, Be Prepared
and always Be Alert.

Thank you very much.