The 2022 Hurricane Season begins today, June 1; and ahead of this day, the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has been engaged in several activities to ensure it is adequately prepared for any threat.
Forecasters are predicting that this season will be above normal, with 14 to 21 named storms and six to10 hurricanes – of which three to six will be major.
NODS says that inspection of the emergency shelters has begun and about 60 facilities have been looked at already, with the final list to be made public shortly.
According to the agency, training is ongoing for district disaster volunteers and representatives of the churches that are expected to be utilised as public shelters.
NODS is advising residents to ensure they are adequately prepared for the hurricane season by stocking up on emergency supplies, like non-perishable food, water, medication, flashlights, First Aid kits, baby and children’s supplies, if necessary, and personal hygiene items.
Most importantly, however, people should make sure their properties are safe.
Meanwhile, NODS says it has been working to upgrade its Early Warning System. “Equipment has arrived on island [and] will be installed at a few private radio stations that will allow emergency alerts to interrupt regular programming,” the agency says.
Reportedly, State-owned ABS Radio and Television already has the equipment in place.
The alert system is already operational in Antigua and Barbuda via a smart phone App, and it also sends messages through email.
The disaster-management office notes that its work continues with partner agencies, including the World Meteorological Organisation, to look at reducing the effects of flooding in various communities.