June 20, 20121226Views

Greetings to all the people of the British Virgin Islands.

I am your Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith and I am here to speak to
you briefly about the 2012 hurricane season.

Hurricanes are indeed powerful storms with the potential to
produce significant storm surge, heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds and rip
currents. It is important that all communities know how to prepare for each of
these hazards.

Many experts report the findings of storm research, but many
Virgin Islanders, including myself, can speak from personal experiences that
Hurricanes such as Donna, David, Gilbert, Hugo, Marilyn and Earl have left with
us with. I strongly urge individuals, families, businesses and mariners to take
the time now to get prepared and remain watchful.

A disaster caused by a hurricane can happen at any time. It is
therefore incumbent upon us, the people of the Virgin Islands, to understand
that Disaster Preparedness is a very personal thing and adhering to the highest
level of preparedness as prescribed by the DDM and other agencies is crucial to
our personal and economic survival.

I have already begun my preparations and, I urge you to do the
same. As we plan for this Hurricane Season, we need to be mindful of one basic
fact that while the Government of the Virgin Islands will mobilise all the
resources necessary  to ensure continuity of business and the orderly
running of the Territory, our resiliency will strongly depend on how well we
are all prepared.

 For DDM Disaster Mitigation is their business. In times of
disaster, many other agencies of government as well as non-government
organisations, mobilise to address and help soften the impacts; but it is your
attention to the preparedness message at the individual and community level
that determines how well the Territory withstands and recovers from the impact
of a hurricane.

 We need to prepare our homes, families, and businesses to cope
with the destructive power of this sometimes devastating natural event.
 Ladies and gentlemen, let there be no mistake, it is only through
pre-event planning that we and our families and neighbours will come through
safely, that property damage will be reduced, that lives will be saved, and
that recovery will be speedily executed.

In closing, let us remember that careful preparation can make a
huge difference. Each type of emergency has its own set of challenges, and
while we always hope and pray for favorable conditions, we must always be
prepared for the unexpected. We can never become complacent.

I strongly urge you to continue your preparations today and to
remain vigilant throughout the hurricane season. 

Stay informed about hazards that may impact the Territory and
listen closely for information and instructions from the DDM or government

For more information about how you can prepare for the season, I
encourage you to log on to

you and have a safe 2012 Hurricane Season.