ODM: Time to check, restock disaster kit

ODM: Time to check, restock disaster kit

PHILIPSBURG--With an extremely active Atlantic hurricane season forecast to begin in just fifteen days, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) is calling on residents and businesses to check and restock disaster supply kits with essential items needed to ride out a storm.

ODM advises that a disaster supply kit should be able to support one’s household for a minimum of seven days after a storm’s passage.

It should have non-perishable food; water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; a first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards will not work if there is no electricity); a battery-powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries; identification cards, passports, driver’s licences and important documents in their own waterproof bag (check if home and vehicle insurance are up to date); hand sanitiser, soap bars or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; and disinfecting wipes or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

Parents with infants or young children will also need baby formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, moist towels and diaper rash ointment.

Before a storm arrives, one should fully charge mobile phones and fill up vehicles with gasoline or diesel fuel.

“Now is the time to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure, and the latter are working,” ODM said in a press release on Thursday. “For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay with family or friends.”

Persons can learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm or hurricane by visiting

www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane, where one can download a “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide” and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

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Persons can listen to government radio station 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. One can also follow weather-related news and information, as well as national addresses by the Prime Minister, who is the chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), on government’s Facebook page.

For official weather-related information, persons can visit the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) at

www.meteosxm.com or visit its social media page


ODM falls under the St. Maarten Fire Department and is headed by Fire Chief and Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.

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