Residents and friends of Montserrat, greetings!
It is that time of the year when I address you as your leader, reminding you of the storm and hurricane threats that confront us from now until November 30th, and to urge you to prepare for any eventuality.
This time of the year brings much trepidation for all of us as we cannot predict if we will be impacted, nor can we forecast the intensity of the storms—until days before impact.
It is true that Montserrat has not been impacted by a major storm for many years, but this does not mean that we will not be impacted this year. It is for this very reason that we must ensure that our hurricane plans are in place.
Thankfully, advancements in science and technology have made it possible for weather forecasters to predict the number of storms which are likely to develop, and as the season progresses weather experts will be able to track the movement of these storms and hurricanes but we cannot wait until then to prepare.
This year’s predictions indicate that we can expect an above-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecasted, with 70% confidence, a likely range of between 14-21 named storms of which 10 can become hurricanes with winds up to 74 MPH and possibly 6 major hurricanes.
We do not know which, if any of these will impact us, we must therefore ensure that we are READY!
We are a resilient people, and we have weathered many storms together. I therefore urge you to do all you know you must do to safeguard life and property.
This means taking practical steps such as:
- Clearing your yard of objects that can become missiles; (loose galvanize, lumber, hanging windows etc)
- Trimming your trees and ensuring that your drains are clear – this will help to reduce the risk of flooding.
- Reviewing and updating your emergency plans to ensure you have adequate emergency supplies, to include an extra supply of medication.
- If you have insurance coverage for your property, now is the time to ensure that your policy is up to date.
- Assess your property and determine whether or not you and your family would need to seek shelter elsewhere. It is important that you identify where you are likely to go, should you need to evacuate.
- Follow the advice of our emergency officials at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA). They will provide you with a full guide of what you should do to prepare.
I ask that you please remember those in our communities who might be living alone and who may need your assistance. Do extend a helping hand to the vulnerable and provide whatever support you can to help them to prepare.
While we all prepare for the hurricane season I wish to remind everyone that COVID19 is still present and will be around during this hurricane season and beyond, I admonish you therefore to continue observing the COVID-19 protocols which are still in place, even when you may be seeking shelter with neighbours or friends.
If you are seeking protection in one of the identified hurricane shelters, please cooperate with the Shelter Managers; remember they are interested in your wellbeing.
Sisters and Brothers, by the grace of God we have been spared direct impact in recent years and we pray that God continues to protect us. But do not be complacent, it only takes one storm or hurricane to directly impact us and cause damage to our island.
And remember we are in this together.
Please stay safe, and may God continue to bless Montserrat.
VIDEO: 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Message by Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell https://www.facebook.com/GIUMontserrat/videos/719261435862683