British Virgin Islands

Monday, Oct 18, 2021

Hurricane 2021: Plan evacuations now should storms arrive - DDM

Hurricane 2021: Plan evacuations now should storms arrive - DDM

The Virgin Islands (VI) Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is urging residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) to start making emergency evacuation plans now, ahead of the arrival of potential storms for the 2021 Hurricane season.

DDM's Information & Education Manager Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel speaking on June 16, 2021, to Cathy O. Richards on JTV’s ‘The Big Story,” said one of the first steps persons should make is their evacuation plans given the lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017.

DDM's Information & Education Manager Chrystall Kanyuck-Abel speaking on June 16, 2021, to Cathy O. Richards on JTV’s ‘The Big Story,” said one of the first steps persons should make is their evacuation plans given the lessons learned from Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017.


Make Family Plans - Kanyuck-Abel


“Really plan… go the BVI DDM website, download the shelter list now, sit together with your family and say to yourselves, If we have to evacuate, if we see that there’s a major system coming again, where are we going to go? Can we stay with family?” she said.

Ms Kanyuck-Abel also warned that families should start asking questions about the location of shelters and how to get there in case of an emergency.

“During an emergency situation we have really good partnerships with all three of the major cellphone providers,’ she said regarding DDM being able to share information with residents, so residents can expect updates.

Further, as part of a June 1, 2021, hurricane preparedness message, Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) also urged persons to take steps to protect their property.

This he said can be done by ensuring there is adequate structural protection and that there are no unnecessary hazards around homes or businesses.

“For those who are able, I would also encourage you to reach out to the vulnerable members of your extended family or village to see what assistance may be needed,” he added.

Above-normal season predicted


For the 2021 Hurricane season, the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season.

Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.

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