With tomorrow (Saturday June 1) being the start of the 2013 Hurricane Season, Grenadians are being urged to be prepared for any possible onslaught of the seasonal weather.
The call has come from Manager of Meteorology at the Maurice Bishop International Airport, Hubert Whyte who told members of the media that preparation at this time of the year is the key.
Whyte believes that for far too long, citizens looked towards the national body for assistance rather than looking at volunteerism.
“We need local preparation. Farmers should have a disaster management plan in place. Schools should have a disaster management plan in place. Companies should have their plans in place instead of looking up to the national service to always provide,” he said.
He stated that Grenadians can expect an above normal season, indicating that with the El Nino having kicked in during the month of November last year and has now gone into neutral which will encourage a very active season.
Whyte also said weather forecasters are keeping a keen eye on the sea surface temperature, which is above normal.
According to him, one of the criteria for the formation of a hurricane is warm sea surface temperature.
“With that sort of factors we expect above normal season,” he added.
However, the Met Officer indicated that whether or not it is an active or inactive season, it takes only one storm to make landfall for there to be a very active season and for people to be affected.
“So what we are saying or urging is irrespective of whether it is an active season or not, preparation cannot be over-stressed, it must be paramount because one storm is enough to do damage for small developing States like ours,” he said.
Eighteen named storms are expected for the season that runs until November 30.
Meanwhile, a concerted effort is being made to prepare for disaster management activities in the country.
Under the National Disaster Plan, various committees are in place to spearhead the preparation.
There are 13 sub-committees, one of which is the Public Information and Education Committee of the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA).
During its first meeting for the year, which was held last week Friday, Acting National Disaster Coordinator, Terrence Walters said there has been some challenges in having members attend meetings.
He disclosed that with the dawn of the 2013 Hurricane Season, a rejuvenated effort is being made to ensure that all the sub-committees meet on a regular basis.
NaDMA will observe Disaster Awareness Week from June 8 to June 14.
During the week NaDMA will distribute the family disaster plan pamphlet, and there will also be the final of the disaster awareness quiz.