The Deputy Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Maria Medard, has asserted that Saint Lucians were a lucky people, having been spared the effects of a hurricane during the just ended Atlantic hurricane season.
“We were spared the damages and the effects of any major hurricanes this year. I think we were a lucky people – I am putting it this way. Some people may not agree, but we have to always ensure that we remain prepared; we are vigilant,” Medard told St Lucia Times.
She said it was her experience that during the just concluded hurricane season Saint Lucians really relied on official sources of information.
“We got quite a few calls as to what was happening. The Met Office got the calls and Saint Lucians heeded the messages that were out there,” Medard recalled.
“We want to say thank them for that and we hope this continues into the next hurricane season,” the NEMO official stated.
She however reiterated that hurricanes represent only one kind of disaster.
Medard mentioned accidents, especially during the Christmas season and fires.
She also spoke of natural disasters such as earthquakes which can happen at any time.
Medard observed that NEMO has been advising people to look into tsunami precautions and preparations, since no one knows when tsunamis can happen.
She disclosed that the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicated that there were 18 named storms this year including six hurricanes at categories 3, 4 or 5 during the last hurricane season.
The Bahamas experienced Hurricane Humberto which left 27,000 Bahamians without electricity.
Dorian hit the Island chain on September 9, resulting in 43 people being officially declared dead and many more unaccounted for.
The next hurricane season will begin on June 1, 2020 and will end on November 30 of that year.