Fellow Montserratians, residents and visitors I extend warm greetings to all of you.
As we begin the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I want us to take some time to reflect on the past year, and how we have been able to adapt to a world in which COVID-19 has dominated our everyday lives and actions. It has also reinforced the need for us to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our families.
As we enter the 2021 Hurricane Season, we have to ensure that our desire to protect ourselves and our families are amplified to include hurricane precautionary measures to protect not only human life, but also our homes, our businesses and our infrastructure.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season is constant each year; from June 1 to November 30 and Mother Nature does not pause to give us a break because we have been dealing with other matters such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and so we should not be complacent as it relates to hurricane preparedness.
The predictions are for another active hurricane season, and while God’s favour and mercies have spared us over the past few years from any direct impact, I urge you to not let down your guard. Regardless of the level of activity predicted, I want to remind you that it only takes one hurricane to directly impact us and seriously affect us.
Some of us might believe that a hurricane is not a real threat or assume that we will be spared because we have not been directly affected in recent years. But, I strongly urge you to take all precautionary measures to safeguard your families, businesses and communities.
The Government’s work to protect lives and livelihoods continue, and even as we maintain our efforts on COVID-19, we have also been actively preparing for this hurricane season. In fact, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has been working with key stakeholders, prior to the start of the hurricane season to ensure steps are taken to prepare for any eventuality.
Our government Ministries and departments have been updating their hurricane plans and work to protect our infrastructure has already started as the Public Works Department has been clearing our waterways to reduce the likelihood of flooding.
As I do every year, I encourage you to:
Follow the advice from officials at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) – they are our experts in disaster preparedness and response.
Stay informed by monitoring communication channels for official information from Government.
Update your hurricane preparedness plans for your family and your business. Everyone in your family or business should know what to do and where to go if impacted, and
Pack essential supplies in an Emergency Kit.—Supplies should include non-perishable food and water for everyone in your home, medications, sanitizers, face-covering, items for personal hygiene and batteries.
I encourage you to remember those in your communities who are not as mobile as you are and need your assistance, the vulnerable, elderly and persons with disabilities. Please lend them a helping hand,
Do stay safe and look out for each other.
May God bless and protect us.