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Gov’t getting BVI ready ahead of upcoming hurricane season

Overlooking a section of Tortola post-Hurricane Dorian last year. (Photo by Kamal Haynes/BVI News)

Government has been actively preparing for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season which is scheduled to commence next month.

In a recent statement, Premier Andrew Fahie said officers throughout the public service have been “updating their plans and procedures” so the territory is prepared to face any weather-related hazards that it encounters.

“The team at the Public Works Department is carrying out ghut clearing. Around the territory — including on the sister islands — we are [also] inspecting potential shelters,” he said.

Premier Fahie then urged proprietors to ensure their businesses are prepped and ready.

“We are also taking the time to encourage and remind the private sector businesses that while they operate in this ‘new regular’ with COVID-19, that they also remain in a heightened state of preparedness for the upcoming season,” Fahie stated.

A need to prepare for multiple hazards at once

In a subsequent media release, Acting Director of the Department of Disaster Management Dr Evangeline Inniss-Springer said that regional disaster risk managers have been reinforcing the need to work in a constantly-changing multi-hazard environment.

She said, “We can see this is happening right now with many of our Caribbean brothers and sisters simultaneously needing to respond to earthquakes, drought and a global pandemic. There is a recognition that we all must work to prepare for more than one hazard at once.”

“Seasonal preparations will need to be adjusted, but for most families and businesses, they will already be taking precautions for COVID-19,” Dr Innis-Springer stated.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will begin on June 1 and run until November 30.

Hurricane researchers at the Colorado State University have predicted 16 named tropical storms during the upcoming hurricane season.

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2 Comments

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  1. 2020 says:

    When that hurricane wind blow social distancing for COVID19 wouldn’t be 6 feet

  2. Diaspora says:

    Governor A. U. Jaspert, the crown rep, puts out a hurricane message. Premier A. A. Fahie (R1) puts out a hurricane message. Are they competing messages? Since it is supposed to be a local self-governing (that is a myth) territory, perhaps, the Premier should be out front delivering the hurricane message, promoting the importance and exigency of readiness and preparedness. Well, at least a joint communique should be issued, given it is one territory.

    Back from my digression, indeed hurricane season is here; the 2020 hurricane season is here. A system has already formed off the southern Florida coast. The VI is facing a perilous situation; some say it is facing a perfect storm. In addition to dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic woes, it is dealing with hurricane season. The season is projected to be more active than normal so the VI does not have a choice it must be prepared and ready. Planning completed, it must stand on the ready and be prepared to execute the plan. It is going to be a long anxious and nervous 5 months. Be safe.

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