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Good Day, I am Governor Boyd McCleary

June 1st marks the beginning of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season and it is important that the entire Territory is prepared for the destructive hazards associated with this natural phenomenon.

Forecasters have predicted a less active season, with a probability of 10 named storms, with four possibly developing into hurricanes. Of these four, two are predicted to become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.  But ladies and gentlemen, regardless of the outlook, it is vital for everyone living or vacationing in the Virgin Islands to take precautionary measures and be prepared.


As we enter the Hurricane Season, we join with the Department of Disaster Management in promoting the three “Be’s” in 2012; “Be Aware! Be Prepared! Be Alert!”

“Being Aware” is having information on hurricanes, their effects and how they can impact your lives. More importantly, it speaks to you having knowledge of what you should do to be prepared. According to scientists, hurricanes are the most powerful storms on Earth. Just one of them can produce enough energy to sustain several countries for a whole year! A hurricane with strong winds and torrential rainfall can last for hours and has the potential to cause death, injury, and widespread property damage.

“Being Prepared” includes developing a family emergency plan, creating or updating your emergency kit, securing important documents and valuables in safe - water proof containers and locations and securing your home and surroundings. Preparedness also involves ensuring that your community is ready. A prepared community means a more resilient community, ensuring a quick and efficient path to recovery in the event of an impact. Equally important, businesses should be prepared with emergency plans and Business Continuity plans to facilitate a more rapid return to normalcy after an impact.

“Being Alert” means that you know where to obtain reliable information and you stay abreast of updates once a system develops by following information from local media and the DDM. Being alert also means that you will tie up any loose ends before the impact of a hurricane.

The official six-month storm season began June 1st. This year, Tropical Storm Alberto formed in the middle of May off the coast of South Carolina in the United States and Tropical Storm Beryl manifested soon thereafter. This bears testament to the unpredictability of these powerful tropical storm systems. Because of this, we absolutely need to Be Aware, Be Prepared and always Be Alert.

Thank you very much.

 

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