2016 Hurricane Season Commences

By anguillian June 6, 2016 09:42 Updated




National Disaster Management Committee meeting on June 1st to review plans to keep Anguilla safe and secure in the event of a major emergency.

THE VALLEY, ANGUILLA – The Atlantic Hurricane Season commences as always on June 1st and marks a state of heightened hurricane awareness for the next six (6) calendar months. The term “heightened” serves to remind us that hurricanes and Tropical weather systems do not limit themselves to formation during the officially recognized period and should encourage us to think of our Hurricane preparedness activities all year long. A near average season is predicted for 2016 with sixteen (16) named storms, eight (8) could become hurricanes, with four (4) of these being major hurricanes. This prediction is in no way a cause for any complacency on our part. The relatively low number of hurricanes and major hurricanes predicted should play no part in determining the intensity of our preparedness efforts as the trend in recent years is for significant damages to be caused by the lesser Tropical systems, particularly through the extensive flooding that these systems bring. The experiences of Tropical Storms Danny and Erika should be fresh in our memories. Some of our Caribbean neighbours suffered tremendous loses at the hands of Tropical Storm Erika and we remember those who lost their lives and their families in our prayers at this time.

We must however supplement our prayers through intelligent and responsible action; there must be no place for complacency in our preparations for any tropical weather system whether it is a minor storm or a major hurricane. As always, ensure that your hurricane shutters are in working order, your Emergency Kit is replenished and everyone in your household is well versed and drilled in your Family Emergency Plan. Businesses are not exempt from preparedness activities. Ensure that your Business Continuity Plans are in place and your staff is intimately familiar with them. Be reminded that we at the Department are always willing to lend a hand with your plans and we encourage you to visit us so we can better assist you. This year I encourage you to pay special attention to your preparations for flooding. While we may not have experienced the levels of flooding that caused devastation and death in Dominica in 2015 we must be cognizant that the threat of flooding is significant and potentially deadly. Let me also take this opportunity to remind you of the dangers of “sightseeing” and unnecessary vehicular traffic during the impact of storms. This dangerous practice must not continue, it is worth remembering that it only takes a few inches of flowing water to sweep a vehicle off the road.

As we enter the Tropical Cyclone Season for 2016 we take measure of what we learned from last year’s experiences. While Anguilla was spared from any devastating impact in 2015 the significance of Tropical Storm Erika in particular cannot be ignored. The lesson is clear, our attitudes toward preparedness must improve, a critical part of which is treating each tropical system on the merit of its potential impacts versus focusing solely on the sometimes meaningless attribute of maximum wind speed. In conclusion, I wish to re-iterate to you that one storm is all that is required to make a difference. Let us endeavor to prepare for any eventuality this Hurricane Season by treating our preparedness efforts with the seriousness and urgency required. I wish you and your family a safe hurricane season and may God bless and keep Anguilla safe.

For further information or queries as it pertains to the various hazards and safety, please contact the Department of Disaster Management 497 -2926.

Department of Disaster Management
1 June 2016

– Press Release
(Published without editing by The Anguillian newspaper.)

By anguillian June 6, 2016 09:42 Updated


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