BRADES, Montserrat (August 21, 2012) – The Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) is monitoring closely the developments of a storm system expected to bring tropical storm winds close to Montserrat later Wednesday.
According to DMCA Director Billy Darroux, the Antigua Meteorological Services and the John A. Osborne Airport have alerted his agency that a tropical storm warning is in effect for Montserrat and the other islands in the region.
The Government of Antigua has issued a tropical storm warning for St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat and Anguilla. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the British Virgin Islands.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 36 hours. Residents should rush preparations to weather the approaching cyclone.
It is anticipated that Montserrat will be affected by wind speeds of about 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts, and rainfall of about 5 to 8 inches can be anticipated, the DMCA head said.
“The DMCA is following developments closely and have met to discuss finalization of plans for response at the agency level. Other departments have also been advised of the development and are encouraged to review and fine tune their plans to support response activities, noted Darroux.
The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee have also been updated and will meet on Wednesday August 22, to discuss further planning.
Residents are reminded to review family and personal hurricane plans, and to complete their hurricane season preparations. Although this particular system is not expected to reach hurricane strength by the time it starts affecting Montserrat during the late morning or early afternoon tomorrow Wednesday, residents should pay attention to the following tips.
- Listen for official warnings and advice on ZJB Radio Montserrat on 88.3FM or on channel 5 on their cable system.
- Fill water containers with water as water supplies may be disrupted.
- Turn off the electricity at the main switch when told to do so and only switch back on, when advised it is safe to do so.
- Clear yards of loose objects, such as garbage cans that can become missiles during high winds.
- Clear drains and other areas where water runs to prevent flooding of properties.
- Store all valuable equipment such as tools, office equipment and appliances in a safe room.
- Wrap all documents and important papers in plastic and store them above ground level.
- Make sure that all your windows and doors are securely fastened.
- Make sure your cooking gas bottles are secured. Close off the stop valves.
- Secure your boat well in advance of the time forecasted for impact, if you own one.
- Fasten windows and use masking tape where necessary to tape glass windows. Take down awnings and secure the rest of your home.
- Remove all pictures, painting, clocks and other hanging objects from the wall.
- If time permits, take down your satellite dish and TV antenna, as well as any radio antennas and solar panels.
- Assemble supplies and recheck your list if you are riding out the storm at home.
- When you have completed all your precautions, offer assistance to neighbours especially the elderly and those with young children.
The DMCA wishes to emphasise that persons with medical or other vulnerabilities should be supported in good time by families and friends, and medication, mobility aids and other necessities must be arranged to assist them.
The DMCA will continue to monitor the system and provide information to the local population via radio Montserrat as necessary. Persons can access hurricane tips at www.dmca.gov.ms or http://dmca.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Resident-Guide-to-Hurricane3.pdf.