Saint Lucians are being urged to safeguard themselves, families and households from an impending hurricane that is anticipated to cross over the island, by Thursday.
According to meteorology experts, at 5.00a.m. , Tuesday, the centre of Tropical Storm Bret was located near Latitude 11.7 degrees north, Longitude 44.7 degrees west. Bret is moving toward the west near 17 mph or 28 km/h and this motion is expected to continue for the next several days.
The meteorologists predict that on this projected track, the system should be approaching the Lesser Antilles late this week.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph or 65 km/h with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast and Bret could become a hurricane in a couple of days. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system.
Another tropical wave located over the eastern Tropical Atlantic is moving westward near 17 mph or 28 km/h. This system has a high chance of tropical cyclone formation during the next seven days.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) has released a video on best practices for the hurricane season.
“At this time Nemo reminds everyone that we are in the hurricane season and as such we need to prepare for any hazard possibilities,” cautioned NEMO Director Maria Medard. “Preparation can include the compilation or assembling of your disaster kit which will have your medicines and prescriptions, your important documents which you will store in plastic bags or airtight containers. Also, know your family plans, develop a family plan and ensure that everybody knows what the plan is”.
The NEMO Director adds, it is also important to “Make an evacuation plan if you do not have one. Ensure that your family is aware of routes to be taken for safety. Know your emergency shelters in your communities, trim overhanging trees and branches. Clear drains near your homes and also your gutterings.”
Medard notes that added precautionary measures, should include ensuring “that your mobiles are fully charged. NEMO reminds the public that it is important to listen to official sources of information from the Government of Saint Lucia, NEMO and the Saint Lucia Met Services.”