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Take Action: Food wholesalers and warehouse depots requested to be storm ready.

PHILIPSBURG(DCOMM):--- Are You Ready? Food wholesalers and warehouse depots are requested to have their facilities storm/hurricane ready by having a plan in place for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The aforementioned should be prepared to secure their properties in the event of a storm/hurricane threat, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) said on Thursday.

National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson is appealing to the business community to use the time now to prepare or review their current pre-storm/hurricane plans and contingency plans.

“The second named storm of the season has formed in the Gulf of Mexico – Tropical Storm Barry. It is no threat to St. Maarten, but it is a stark reminder that we are in the hurricane season.

“Every effort must be made to be prepared to take timely action in clearing the surroundings of storage areas of loose pallets and other materials in the event of a weather-related threat,” Richardson pointed out.

Every business has a role to play in being storm ready for the hurricane season.

The formation of Tropical Storm Barry allows business owners and households to review their hurricane preparation plans and to adjust and address any weaknesses in those plans.

The primary objective is the protection of people first and foremost, property and surrounding residential areas second. This ODM message comes four weeks before the start – mid-August - of the peak part of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

Materials such as plywood, shipping pallets, food pallets, and pieces of metal used to secure pallet shipments, can easily become flying missiles capable of impaling brick or wooden walls, zink roofs or anything in its way.

It is the responsibility of the business owner to have plans in place to remove any materials and/or have them properly secured on the property where their business is located within a short period of time in the event of a storm/hurricane threat to the country.

When a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued 48-hours before a system is forecasted to hit the country, businesses should activate their business resilience hurricane preparedness plans.

For general information about preparing prior to a storm/hurricane strike, visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.” Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com

Remember, be storm ready! Are You Ready?

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