Hurricane Season 2021 Commences

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To my fellow Anguillians and our invited guests visiting our lovely shores, let me take this opportunity to bring to your attention the start of the 2021 Hurricane Season. Today, June 1st marks the start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, one that will last until November 30th of this year. I am sure some of us need very little reminders about what is required from all of us as citizens for the next 6 months, however, I would implore you to listen and share this information with our visiting guests and friends. This hurricane season, promises to be an active one. In fact, the season has already made its debut and impact on our fellow citizens in the island of Bermuda with the passing of tropical storm Ana in the month of May. This is a reminder that hurricanes do not only occur during the officially designated hurricane season.

Our beloved country sits in a storm prone area of the Caribbean region and as such it means that we must be even more vigilant than our neighbours to the South and West. This season we are better prepared through many preparedness activities and initiatives, and we take this moment to highlight in particular the timely addition of emergency telecommunications equipment thanks to the contributions of the Anguilla United Relief Fund. Contributions such as these give due recognition to the fact that Disaster preparedness is everyone's business.
The 2021 outlook forecasts highlights that 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) are expected. While many will remember 2020 as the year of the worst global Pandemic in decades, we must also remember that it was also one of the most active hurricane seasons on record as well. It means, we must also be prepared for hurricane impact under a new reality of CoVID-19 pandemic and the required protocols. Hygiene, sanitation practices and social distancing rules gain even more significance under these conditions and we implore you to continue to adhere to these measures.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the age of the 'super storms'.

That said, regardless of the storm's severity and our new reality, we all have our role and as a civic collective, we are responsible as individuals, families, communities and ultimately as a country for our overall preparedness for major hazards that are most likely to impact us. Please continue to follow the government information resources like Radio Anguilla 95.5 FM and the Disaster Management Facebook page for updates.

Although, we have built back better, what is equally as important is to ensure that we have our family disaster plans developed, business continuity plans tested and our emergency kits completed. Take some time to finalize all your plans as an individual, as a family and as a business, if you haven't done so already while we are early in the season. We all know that the onset of hurricanes can cause much panic and therefore, my earnest advice to everyone, is to make and finalize all preparations now so as to minimise undue panic, headache and mishaps. This is the time to scale up our preparations to ensure the safety and protection of our loved ones. Two such examples are safeguarding your 5 days of family drinking water, (1 gallon per person per day) and setting aside cash in a place that is secure but out of reach so that it is not easily spent. Actions like these aid the recovery and response effort of the country and helps you avoid the rush that sometimes follows the impact of a storm.

One final note, we all should take the necessary precautions to secure property. Early and consistent preparation should be our objective at this time. Remember it only takes one major storm to devastate a country and to the contrary, a single act of preparation by each of us, maximizes our ability to recover exponentially.
Continue to Be Aware, Be Informed and Be Prepared. God bless our country now and throughout the rest of the year. Thank you for your attention and best wishes to you and your families.

Calvin Andre Samuel
Director, Disaster Management