The Daily Herald writes that Saba Disaster Committee met last week ahead of the start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which began June 1. The meeting was chaired by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and attended by various other members who carry out emergency support functions. Every year, the Disaster Committee meets before the hurricane season to take an inventory of the measures in place so that they can respond in a timely and effective manner. The Island Governor pointed out to that while this season has been predicted to be below average, preparations should still be put in place to minimize risks of serious damage should a hurricane hit the island. He emphasized that it only takes one hurricane to cause significant damage. Governor Johnson also reminded the community “that everyone should start making their preparations for a hurricane now, so that are ready should a hurricane warning be issued.”
During the coming month, there will be an island-wide cleanup coordinated by the Island Government to remove car wrecks and other large debris. Persons that have debris may contact Public Works to have it removed. Construction companies are reminded that they should limit the amount of material around construction sites so that in the event a storm is nearing they can quickly secure the site.
In the meeting, members noted that the community needs to be informed about adequate hurricane preparations and what can be expected during a hurricane. Particularly because there are quite a number of persons that have never experienced storms and might be unaware of the risks associated with them.
If a hurricane is approaching Saba, a curfew will be put in place and will remain in effect until the storm has passed and authorities have had a chance to assess damage. The public is reminded that they should not venture out until authorities have given the green light, as this will hamper emergency services and cleanup efforts.
Within a few weeks, a hurricane information campaign will be launched with brochures being made available. The brochures will outline shelters and other information. “When your preparations are finished, also give a hand to those that may need assistance. In the event of disaster everyone should come together to help each other,” Governor Johnson said.