Prime Minister and emergency services meet to discuss hurricane preparedness

Prime Minister and emergency services  meet to discuss hurricane preparedness

EOC chairlady Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (centre, right) during the meeting that was held on Monday morning, with Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson (centre, left), and (from left) other members of the ESFs along with other stakeholders in the Government organisation. (DComm photo)

PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, for the first time this year, chaired a hurricane preparedness meeting on Monday.

Present were coordinators of a number of Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) that make up the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the country’s national disaster coordination system.

Several key ESFs were informed about the forecast for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1 and ends on November 30.

Those ESF coordinators who were present at the meeting were given an overview of the state of national preparedness for the season.

The 10 ESFs that make up the country’s national disaster management organisation are: ESF-1, NV GEBE, electricity/water production; ESF-2, Bureau Telecommunications and Post (BTP); ESF-3, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI); ESF-4, Fire Department; ESF-5, Police Department; ESF-6, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA medical assistance; and ESF-7, Ministry VSA evacuation, shelters, relief and mass casualties; ESF-8, Department of Communication (DComm); ESF-9, Ministry of General Affairs; and ESF-10, Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT).

Another hurricane season preparatory meeting will take place that will include all ESFs.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the government website where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the government radio station SXMGOV 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) or visit its social media page

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM), which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is appealing to all residents and businesses to plan ahead and “Be Prepared” for the hurricane season.

“Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared!,” Richardson said.

The Daily Herald

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