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ODM Reminder: Don’t Become Complacent. Remain Vigilant and Prepared!

PHILIPSBURG  (DCOMM):---  The Colorado State University (CSU) Department of Atmospheric Science in its latest updated recently released forecast says that the next two weeks should continue to see above-normal levels of storm/hurricane activity.

The 14th named storm Nigel formed over the week but poses no threat to Sint Maarten. Nigel on Sunday was located over 1000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. The tropical storm is forecast to become a hurricane and to approach major hurricane intensity.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) and Fire Chief/Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is reminding all residents and businesses to remain vigilant as the country moves through the peak weeks of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

ODM calls on residents to review the content of their Disaster Kit to make sure it is stocked with the essentials that are necessary.

Every household’s Disaster Kit should be able to support members of the household for a minimum of seven days after the hurricane has passed.

The Disaster Kit should contain non-perishable food, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license, insurance papers in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.

Your Disaster Kit must also include hand sanitizer, a soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

Now is the time to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure, and the latter are working.

For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay with family or friends.

The Sint Maarten community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and resources you need on how to prepare your family, home, or business for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” The information here is also valuable for new residents.

Listen to the Government Radio station SXMGOV – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. You can also follow weather related news and information as well as national addresses by the Prime Minister, chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) by going to @SXMGOV Facebook Page.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

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