24th SEPTEMBER, 2019 — Today, we have seen showers, winds, and rough seas. I have been advised by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) that there will most likely be more to come this evening as Tropical Storm Karen passes near us and moves away.
But I know that we are more than ready because we have been following the instructions from the NEOC who have been working round the clock to keep us updated. We have secured our homes and workplaces, and now most of us are safe indoors.
I want to acknowledge those persons who are providing essential and critical services across the Territory to keep people safe. Your Government and I are so grateful for your commitment. Please know that what you do has not gone unnoticed, as you continue to risk your own safety for all of us living in these beautiful Virgin Islands. We thank you and we appreciate you.
As I have had cause to do so often this Atlantic Hurricane Season, I continue to reflect on the safety of all the people in this Territory whether you are a BVIslander, resident or a visitor.
It brings me comfort to know that our children are at home safe. The majority of our public officers are safely at home. I have been following the updates closely and so I know that around the Territory, many employers in the private sector are doing their part to ensure the safety of employees. I appreciate the efforts that have been made to reconsider schedules and transportation for private sector employees and the care that is being taken to protect your most important business asset – the people.
As I would have shared earlier today, I wish to thank the hardworking team at the NEOC, the team at the Department of Disaster Management, including my GIS team who are providing support to the NEOC to keep you the people informed during these times.
I know that there are several flooding hotspots throughout the Territory and I thank the Minister for Works, Honourable Kye Rymer and his hard-working staff, especially the team Public Works Department and Water and Sewerage Department for doing their due diligence to minimise any possible impacts from Tropical Storm Karen.
To my colleagues in the House of Assembly, I thank you for ensuring that your districts and the Territory as a whole can Be Ready for times such as these. We will continue to work together to make our communities and our people more resilient. As people of the Virgin Islands, resilience is in our DNA. We are a people who stand firm. We recover. We spring back and we emerge tougher than before.
This is because of our faith that God will always see us through. God is the calm through any storm. I know that He will continue to bless and protect the people of the Virgin Islands.
Be ready; stay ready, and keep safe!