Pay attention to the weather forecast, but also be prepared in case there is an emergency, says Acting Deputy Director of the Department Emergency Management (DEM) Captain Robert Harewood.
Addressing Wednesday’s press conference at the DEM’s Warrens, St Michael headquarters to mark the start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Harewood warned that even though Barbados had been spared the worst effects of storms and hurricanes in recent years, this was no reason for citizens to become complacent.
“We want to encourage persons to recognize that it could only be one event impacting upon us and it could happen maybe as early as next week, a week after, we don’t know. We want persons to recognize their vulnerabilities, recognize that preparedness really begins at the individual level,” he said.
The disaster management official pointed out the national system was as strong as the individual and community system.
“So our major challenge is to get people to understand that they have a major role to play and it is not just the Government departments,” Harewood added.
This year’s hurricane season is expected to be an “average one” with the Colorado State University forecasting 13 systems, including six with the potential of becoming hurricanes, and two major hurricanes.
Based on this forecast, Deputy Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services Sonia Nurse warned Barbadians not to take the threat of hurricanes lightly.