Tuesday, October 22, 2019

NEMO: Weather system to cross Windward Islands later today

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), in coordination with the Saint Lucia Meteorological Services continues to monitor the development and progress of a broad area of low pressure disturbance.

According to the Met. Services, as at 6 a.m. today, a broad area of low pressure located approximately 200 miles or 321 kilometers east of Barbados continues to show signs of development.  This system is moving west to west northwest at approximately 15 to 20 miles per hour or 24 to 32 kilometers per hour. The center is expected to cross the island chain near the central Windward Islands later on today, Wednesday, Sep. 28.

Associated with this system are heavy rains and tropical storm force winds in squalls, consequently, the Acting Prime Minister has advised that all schools remain closed for today; and that all business houses should close at 12 noon to facilitate workers and patrons getting to their homes safely ahead of the system.

Additionally, NEMO is advising the public to continue monitoring the progress of this system and take immediate preemptive action to protect themselves and their property.

The public is hereby reminded that the official source for information are the Met. Office and NEMO.

The following is provided as guidance.

1. Ensure you know your emergency shelters: Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters. Have evacuation routes planned to the emergency shelters near you.

2. Have a Hurricane Survival Kit

3. Protect your windows: Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood–marine plywood is best–cut to fit each window. Remember to label each panel according to its respective window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.

4. Trim back branches from trees: Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property.

5. Check into your home and auto insurance. Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate.

6. Make arrangements for pets and livestock: Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons.

7. Develop an emergency communication plan: Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.


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