GREAT BAY:--- Hurricane specialist have reportedly stated that they expect things to heat up in the coming weeks and that we could see two or more storm systems forming per week.
Apparently cool, dry air has impacted the slow formation of storm activity during the past weeks and this reprieve is expected to end as Caribbean islands go into the peak period of the 2010 hurricane season.
The Office of Disaster Management is imploring the nation to make sure that all hurricane season pre-preparations are in place before storm warnings are issued. Residents are urged to update their family plan and restock their first aid kit and their supplies of non-perishable food as the lead time for preparation of a hurricane strike can be short and you don't want to be caught off-guard. Services such as supermarkets, gasoline, banks, running water, electricity and many other items that residents have grown accustomed too may not be available right after the passing of a hurricane.
The normal requirement is to have enough supplies in-house for three to five days. So far four systems have already formed for the hurricane season, namely Hurricane Alex, Tropical Storms Bonnie, Colin and Hurricane Danielle. There is currently a low pressure system near the Cape Verde Islands in the far Atlantic Ocean, and this system is expected to become a Tropical Storm and will be called Earl. Both systems at this time pose no threat to any land area and are forecasted to pass several hundred miles to the North of St Maarten. Forecasted are 18-20 named storms and 10 to 12 hurricanes, five to six of those are expected to be category three or stronger.
Some of the preparations that residents need to look at are: for those with a generator, to make sure that it is in good working order; check your shutters, make sure that they fit and you have all the parts; remove debris from the yard; trim back trees; ensure that travel documents are up to date and check on insurance policies to ensure they are current.
For weekly hurricane season preparatory tips and a listing of the hurricane shelters, you can check the Government Information Page published in both daily papers from Monday to Thursday. The remaining names for storm systems are Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie and Walter.
The hurricane season runs until November 30.