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His Excellency the Governor Daniel Pruce’s Message on the Start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

His Excellency the Governor Daniel Pruce’s Message on the Start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

June 4, 202475Views

Good day to all.

The hurricane season has arrived, and by now you have probably heard that the 2024 hurricane season outlooks are above average. Forecasters differ somewhat on the precise number of named storms and hurricanes they expect, but there is agreement that between the warm sea temperatures, the expected absence of wind shear that would tend to inhibit storm formation, and other factors, we can expect the Atlantic to generate a high level of storm activity this year.

As a Territory, we take careful note of the forecasts. We know that it only takes one storm here to have a terrible impact. This is why, regardless of the number of storms in any given outlook, we will rely on lessons from previous hurricane seasons.

First, we know that being prepared early and staying ready throughout the season is the best course of action. This means that now is the time to make or update emergency plans, prepare your property, assemble emergency supplies, and take other preparedness measures as needed.

Please, do not wait until a storm or hurricane watch is issued to begin this process. At best, that would mean you and your family will be rushed, and stressed. At worst, it may leave you with not enough time to fully protect yourselves.

Second, it’s important to gather and review essential family documents. Passports, home and insurance documents, and financial records should all be protected and accessible. Ideally, we should all have digital backups of these documents as well so that they can be quickly replaced if they become damaged.

Throughout the season, we should all keep informed. The Department of Disaster Management shares daily weather updates as well as outlooks about potentially hazardous conditions on their website and social media channels. Should a storm or other hazard threaten the Virgin Islands, updates will also be issued via the DDM Alert App and the Department’s new WhatsApp channel. Please connect to them now if you haven’t yet, so that you can be alerted right away of any impending storms.

Finally, I would remind us of perhaps the most important lesson learned from previous seasons, which is the importance of working together. I know it has been a very challenging few years for this community, and there are many among us that need support to be ready for the next storm or hurricane.

If you can, please reach out through your churches, community service groups, village associations, and other networks to assist persons in need this season. Likewise, if you find yourself in need of assistance, I hope you will put safety above pride and seek out help early.

I hope that we will have a safe hurricane season.

Thank you.