My Fellow St. Maarteners,
June 1st marks the opening of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This season the forecasters have predicted that it will be a very dangerous and active one, and therefore we need to be prepared. Everyone has a responsibility to prepare their home, and businesses for the season. We all know what must be done as we go through this for a six-month period from June 1st to November 30th, every year.
The season is already off to an early start with the formation of Ana over a week ago. I am appealing to the nation, do not wait until the last minute to prepare, but to be prepared in the event our country has to face a threat from a hurricane.
We are very much aware of what devastation a powerful hurricane can cause, after our most recent experience with Irma only four years ago, of which we are still recovering. This season, we are better prepared as a lot has been achieved over the past four years. For example, the completion of 11 hurricane shelters. However, there is still much more that still needs to be done.
The government’s Disaster Management Organization has been preparing for the 2021 hurricane season. All the emergency support functions have their plans in place in order to safeguard our nation in the event of a storm.
Follow the preparedness messages and advice coming from our emergency support functions if there is a hurricane threat to the nation. Stay informed and follow official government information channels for instructions.
When making your preparations for the hurricane season, you must also keep in mind the COVID-19 and the public health and hygiene measures that you must follow daily to protect yourself and your family.
My people, I urge you not to become complacent this season; remember, it only takes one storm to make it a bad hurricane season. History has taught us a lesson as a nation, and we know what we need to do to be prepared.
I appeal to everyone once more. Make your preparations for this season. May the Almighty watch over us and keep us safe.
God Bless St. Maarten! I thank you.
Deputy Prime Minister of St. Maarten