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ODM: Remain Vigilant and Prepared. Recheck your Disaster Supply Kit.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- Monday, August 15 will mark the start of the active part of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, where the islands of the Lesser Antilles traditionally see more storm/hurricane activity up until mid-October.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department (Ministry of General Affairs) headed by Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, said on Thursday that all residents and businesses need to remain vigilant and prepared.

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

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

The Disaster Supply 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.

Continue to ensure that tree branches around your home are trimmed; 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; re-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 at family or friends.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare 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.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – SXMGOV 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 or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Remain vigilant and prepared!

The hurricane season runs through November 30.

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