A regular feature of life in the tropics – a hurricane is a powerful storm that can cause great damage to property and loss of life.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 yearly.
The 2018 season is expected to be one of above-normal activity, with as many as 16 named storms – up to nine of which should become hurricanes – predicted by the Climate Prediction Centre of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and endorsed by the Meteorological Service of Jamaica.
When a hurricane looms, taking certain precautions can minimise the potentially dangerous effects.
In an effort to help Jamaicans to do this, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the Government’s disaster management agency, advises the following.
Hurricane Precautions for Residences
1. Secure loose items (gardening equipment, outdoor furniture, etc.) that may become projectiles due to storm winds.
2. Remove hanging branches from trees near the home.
3. Install and secure hurricane shutters or batten down windows and doors with wooden planks.
4. Store adequate food that needs little to no refrigeration and preparation.
5. Store adequate water in clean, covered containers.
6. Keep functioning flashlights and storm radios on hand.
7. Secure all important documents in plastic or other waterproof, protective covering.
8. Shut off the main power supply to the house.
Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Businesses
1. Move heavy equipment to a secure location, ideally one that is indoors.
2. Park vehicles in a safe place where they will not be damaged by flying objects.
3. Allow employees to leave well before the expected start of a storm.
4. Secure glass showcases.
5. Install and secure hurricane shutters across areas of the building with extensive glass façades. Otherwise, place masking tape on the inside to prevent the glass from scattering, should it shatter.
6. Elevate goods that may be damaged by floodwaters, well above floor level.
7. Shut off the building’s main power supply.
For additional information, please contact the:
Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)
Address: 2-4 Haining Road
Telephone: (876) 906-9674-5, (876) 754-9077-8, 1-888-2255-637