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Statement from Premier Smith on 2018 hurricane season

Premier Dr D Orlando Smith. (Photo Credit Davion Smith/BVI News)

Residents of the BVI, the 2018 Hurricane Season has commenced and forecasters have indicated that this season will be an active one.  This means that we have to be ready and stay ready from June to November.

I know that the experiences of 2017 still remain current in our minds.  We experienced a record-breaking year with a major flood event and impacts by two (2) hurricanes of a scale never seen before in this region.  I must say, however, that even though the impacts were overwhelming and the destruction catastrophic, we worked together and we welcomed the assistance of our regional and international friends, to recover and to rebuild stronger.

I must say that the rebuilding efforts are difficult, but I am pleased that definite progress has been made. For example,  utilities have been re-connected throughout the islands; homes are being repaired; businesses are operating, cruise ships are coming, Government operations are functioning, new developments are happening in the tourism space and more. Life is improving steadily.

Citizens and residents of the Virgin Islands, as a Government working closely with public officers and the private sector,  we are doing our best to prepare for this hurricane season.

Now we want you to do your part to support us by ensuring that you get ready and remain ready.

My Government has put measures in place as we prepare for the 2018 Hurricane Season.  We need you to be close partners and supporters in this regard because preparedness has become extremely difficult especially considering that the hurricanes are now becoming stronger and the impacts are more devastating.

A lot has been done, but we still have much more to do and the peak of the Hurricane Season will be on us shortly.

I am appealing to community groups and individuals to come together and help us to get homes ready; share information to educate those among us who may never have experienced the impacts we felt last year.  Engage the various social media groups to share positive information to help our friends and families get ready.

Considering the level of impacts we had to homes and businesses last year, I am sure many persons throughout the communities are nervous about their homes and properties. I am calling on insurance companies once again to speed up processing outstanding claims so that people can immediately begin to secure their properties. For those persons who do not have insurance, I trust that you were able to take advantage of the housing programme spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and Social Development. The deadline would have been May 31.

Residents who have completed repairs or those who were fortunate not to have suffered much damage must ensure that they pay extra attention to ensuring that their roof is fully braced, and doors and windows have good protection.

In the event that we are under full alert again this year, let us ensure that we are prepared.

I encourage all of us to stock up on as much as you can and start now.

Keep your surroundings clear of debris. Assist your neighbours in the clearing of their property too because what affects them can also impact you.

Update your emergency kits as supplies may be limited when you decide to take action to have them refilled.  Also, protect your valuables and memorabilia as the loss of these items can be stressful.

Check your generators and tools and ensure that these are ready.  Remember to update medication lists, replace your glasses if you have a new prescription and keep your insurance policies up to date.

Now is the time to take an inventory of the contents of your home. Take photos or videos, close up and far away of expensive furniture, electronics, jewellery, cars, etc. Be sure to store the images and lists in the Cloud (such as on Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive) and on a flash drive that you can grab quickly when needed. If you haven’t already done so, this would also be the time to scan and store your important documents in a sealed plastic bag.

Remember, we cannot prevent hurricanes from coming, but we can be prepared. Let’s get ready together.  Take the time now and make all the needed changes to ensure when the next storm hits you are ready.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

9 Comments

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  1. hmm says:

    We are still living in fare from last years hurricane season and we are already in another this year. God please protect us all!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We are still living in fare from last years hurricane season and we are already in another this year. God please protect us all!

  3. Hmmm says:

    We are still living in fare from last years hurricane season and we are already in another this year. God please protect us all!

  4. Political Observer (PO) says:

    2017 was a historic hurricane season; the BVI was rocked by two Cat 5 hurricanes within two weeks in 2017. The projected estimated cost of damages resulting from these two monster storms is approx $3.6B. Nonetheless, many of the populace is still paralyzed with fear; they shudder with nervousness with just the thought of the coming season.

    Moreover, it has been approx 6 months since the official end of the 2017 hurricane season but is the territory in a high state of preparedness and readiness for 2018? IMO the territory is not in a high state of readiness for the 2018 season that is projected to be an active season. Interestingly, some public officials are suggesting the territory will be ready by peak season. Here is a news flash. A major hurricane can occur at any time. As such, to the maximum extent practical the territory should have been ready for the start of the season on 01 June.

    To protect life,property, economy……..etc, resources should have been prioritized, earmarked, fenced to get prepared for the 2018. The territory was caught flat-footed and ill-prepared for the 2017 season. Lacked of being hit by a major storm in recent times contributed to complacency which contributed to a lack of preparedness and readiness.

    For example, too many property owners did not protect their property to minimize and/or prevent damages to their property. Board up your properties to keep the wind out to reduce damages, assuming that they were properly designed, constructed and maintained. Batten down the hatches and secure loose items to keep them from becoming flying missiles.

  5. Rubber Duck says:

    Board up your properties so that the looters don’t get in when the roof blows off.

  6. JOE says:

    Thank you for your advice.As we are preparing physically,we should prepare spiritually.We should get close to God,show love to all citizens evenly in BVI, Indigenes and non-indigenes[expats],display transparency and let us be bold to receive good things that the Lord has for BVI during this season.God has not given his people spirit of fear but of boldness.As we march on as a people If God ,without wickedness, if God be with us, no evil or environmental disaster will befall us in Jesus name.

  7. Sam the man says:

    Well you had to come out with some statement after the Governor put you to shame and in the shadows of complacency again. Stop wasting time promoting marijuana legilisation efforts and runway expansion nonsense and get back to basics. The BVI lags seriously behind all the other islands devastated by Irma – why us that? You say you’ve worked hard as a team – sorry no you haven’t – progress has been painfully slow and most ministers still seem to want that as it gives them multiple opportunities for their “facilitation fees” absolutely shameful – there are a growing number that recognise what the “No Direction Party” and its representatives are up to – and it’s all about what’s in it for me, what do I get before I assist and that is plain wrong. We still have a F…King tent at Wesr End, a fire that is still burning choking people for almost a month, sewage that runs through the streets into the sea ! Get a grip real soon as we are now in the next hurricane season and your rhetoric as usual is without substance – and for goodness sake get all your undeclared yearly audited financial reports issued as you look a complete a** at the moment. Thank goodness we have a competition ent government nor that cares

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