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PREMIER HONOURABLE DR. NATALIO D. WHEATLEY’S MESSAGE ON THE START OF THE 2024 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

PREMIER HONOURABLE DR. NATALIO D. WHEATLEY’S MESSAGE ON THE START OF THE 2024 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

June 4, 202489Views

Good day and God’s blessings to all.

Once again, the hurricane season is here. Some of you may have heard that experts expect as many as 25 named storms to develop during the 2024 hurricane season. As your elected leader, I take no pleasure in sharing that factors like the very warm waters of the Atlantic, which tend to fuel storms and hurricanes, signal such high levels of storm activity for the region.

I hope you will join me in a prayer to protect the Virgin Islands and all our brothers and sisters throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic from any storms that may develop. Being prudent and careful people, we will not stop there. We will also take action to be ready.

As a Government, preparedness activities have been underway for some time. Seasonal activities like the clearance of ghuts, assessment of emergency shelters, revision plans, and coordination with our regional and international partners are a matter of routine that we do not overlook.

Of course, Government cannot accomplish the task of getting the Territory prepared alone. Everyone has a part to play.

When it comes to your home and business, begin by having a plan that accounts for your unique situation. If your location is on the coast, plan for the possibility of storm surge. If you have a property under construction, plan how you will clear and secure your site. If you have a chronic medical condition, plan what to do if the usual avenues for care are delayed.

Because weather systems can change course and intensity from day to day, it is important that we closely monitor conditions. The Department of Disaster Management issues daily weather information, and updates on any system with the potential to impact the Territory. To receive emergency alerts on your mobile device, you can utilise the DDM Emergency Alert App, or their new WhatsApp channel.

Once you have a plan in place, you will also need to take measures to protect your property. This may mean identifying any repairs that put you at risk, clearing debris from your yard, or acquiring supplies to help you secure your space if a storm appears imminent. If you do not have insurance, please consider investing in a policy that will help you rebuild if we face a serious impact.

Individuals and families should also have food, water, medication and other essential supplies on hand. Again, each family’s essential needs may not be the same. I urge everyone in the Virgin Islands to take time now to think through what you will need to be safe and comfortable for at least a few days in case a storm or other disaster cuts off your access to daily conveniences. If you are able, please support friends and neighbours with assembling their own emergency supplies.

Remember, we cannot control the path of any storm, but if we work together, we can be ready.

Thank you.