His Excellency the Governor John Rankin continues to urge residents of the Virgin Islands to Be Ready for the possibility of a tropical storm or hurricane as the Atlantic basin remains active.
“History shows us that September brings more storm activity than any other time of the year. The best way to protect lives and livelihoods from the impact of a hurricane is for each one of us to do our part to remain ready,” the Governor said. He added, “This means we should all continue to keep an eye out for maintenance issues at our homes and businesses; restock emergency supplies as needed; and monitor the latest conditions as reported by reliable sources such as the Department of Disaster Management.”
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) Acting Director Jasen Penn said that the department is monitoring regional conditions including a tropical wave located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, which is forecast to develop further in the coming days.
With 17 named storms having formed so far, 2021 has already exceeded the 20-year average of 14 named storms per year. Six hurricanes, of which three reached Category 3 or stronger, have formed so far this season. The average is seven hurricanes with three achieving Category 3 or stronger.
Mr. Penn said these figures are in keeping with seasonal expectations.
“Forecasters warned us to expect a busy season, and based on what we have seen so far, their prediction was correct,” Mr. Penn said. He added, “We are in the peak of the season now, which means that systems will continue to develop rapidly in the coming weeks, so it’s very important for the Virgin Islands to remain vigilant in terms of hurricane preparedness.”
Residents can get local weather reports daily via the DDM app, website and social media channels, with updates shared more frequently when a system poses a potential threat. Monitoring weather conditions, having an updated emergency plan, and assembling a well-stocked emergency supply kit including medications and personal protective equipment are essential steps to hurricane season preparedness.