2011 Hurricane Season Message from His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Duncan Taylor
Published 2nd June 2011, 12:28pm
The word ‘hurricane’ entered the English language as early as 1555 when European sailors started exploring the Caribbean region. The huge tempests and mountainous seas these early mariners encountered seemingly came out of the blue, often inundating communities, destroying boats, houses, crops and freshwater wells.
Without weather forecasting, many were left to gather family and important possessions at a moment’s notice. Such close encounters taught people to read the signs: crabs crawling en-masse; a heavy crop of mangos; large numbers of mangrove shoots; conchs burying in the sand and plenty of white butterflies, amongst other things. But still residents did not know when a storm would hit shore or how big it would be.
Today we have satellites, radar images and modeling programmes that allow our weather experts to give a more accurate prediction of what is coming our way. More importantly, they give us information on storm surge, wind direction and flooding that is vital to saving lives and protecting property. Even so we have learnt from past storms that hurricanes remain inherently unpredictable.
As such, using any single storm as a benchmark for preparedness, might put you and your family in a precarious position. The next storm could come from a different direction, it could be more powerful, or cause more flooding.
And so, while we have made great strides in our overall level of preparedness, I urge all families to check their emergency plans and supplies. Government preparedness cannot be a substitute for personal readiness. The two go hand-in-hand, and therefore, with the start of this hurricane season take all the risks posed by the storm season with the utmost seriousness, and do all you can to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe.
It is time to get ready.