August 21, 20151709Views

Residents of The
Virgin Islands, by now you would be aware that Danny has been upgraded to
Category 3 Hurricane. As a result, I have authorised the activation of the
National Emergency Operations Centre at Level 2, considering that the Territory
will feel some impact from this system by Monday or Tuesday.

Forecasters continue
to indicate that we
can expect flooding, landslides and possible power outages due to
high winds. I am particularly concerned about the impact that high winds and
heavy rainfall could have on the environment considering the extensive period
of drought we have been experiencing over the past months which has resulted in
loose soil and fragile foliage.

Businesses and home owners
should pay particular attention to their surroundings at this time and use the
weekend to address any drainage or erosion concerns around their properties.

As a result of the
activation of the National Emergency Operations Centre, the DDM will therefore
now transition to providing 24-hour services until the all-clear is given and
will lead the response coordination activities throughout the passage of
Hurricane Danny.

At 10:00 a.m., I
called a meeting of critical Government agencies to receive updates on
preparedness actions that have been taken and to determine priority steps for
completing readiness activities for the approaching hurricane.

From all indications,
departments have been adhering to the precautionary measures issued by the Department
of Disaster Management over the past week; have activated their emergency plans
and will take the next few days to finalise preparations and to ensure security
of government assets. In addition, I have noted that specific attention has
been paid to informing residents of the sister islands and ensuring that
mechanisms are in place to support any response that may be required on those

Residents are being
reminded to make use of the weekend to ensure that adequate supplies of
non-perishable food, water and other supplies are on hand to stay comfortable
in the event of any disruption in utility services.

Persons who are
providing care to the elderly and young children are also being reminded to
secure necessary medication and supplies as some services may be unavailable
during and immediately after the passage of Hurricane Danny.

I urge non-emergency personnel to
remain off the roads during the passage of the system. Any decisions on the
closure of public offices will be made over the weekend.

We will continue to
monitor the progress of Hurricane Danny and provide updates as they become
available. Please ensure that you continue to follow the information and
updates provided by the National Emergency Operations Centre, through the Department
of Disaster Management website and social media outlets, local media and
cellular service providers.

Let us all be safe as we
weather this system together.

Thank you.