Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 02, 2020 (SKNIS): As the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to work to safeguard citizens and residents from the spread of COVID-19, National Disaster Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abdias Samuel, issued a call for the general public to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols as they would be useful during the hurricane season.
“As we focus our attention on the preparedness measures for the upcoming hurricane season it is critically important that we also remember that we are still amidst the ongoing Novel Coronavirus Pandemic,” said Mr. Samuel. “Social and physical distancing, hygienic protocols and health guidelines to keep you safe must be taken into consideration when preparing for the hurricane season as this will impact your disaster preparedness plans including what is in your go kit, your evacuation routes, shelters and more.”
Very early on, the government implemented preparedness measures to safeguard citizens and residents from the spread of COVID-19. On March 25, 2020, the borders were closed to all commercial airline flights, and on March 28, 2020, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis declared a 14-day State of Emergency in an attempt to stem the spread of the Coronavirus, which provided for the closure of non-essential businesses which included faith-based institutions.
Equally important, the COVID-19 National Task Force continues to update the general public about the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season through the NEOC COVID-19 Daily Briefing. Mr. Samuel reiterated the importance of being prepared.
“Over the past weeks, we have been providing hurricane tips to the public as part of our COVID-19 Daily Briefing. Now is the time for you to take action and finalize all your preparedness plans and be ready to implement them as necessary,” he said. “I urge you to take action now to be ready for the hurricane season because when a storm is approaching it is too late to get ready.”
He used the occasion – the NEOC COVID-19 Daily Briefing for June 1, 2020 – to recognize faith-based bodies for their continued support.
“I want to thank the Evangelical Association and the Christian Council for extending a warm invitation to NEMA to join in fellowship and prayer at the Antioch Baptist Church this morning [June 1, 2020] to commemorate the official start of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We commend the Evangelical Association and the Christian Council for making this activity a permanent one on their calendar,” said the national disaster coordinator.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 01 to November 30 annually. This year, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a 10 percent chance of a below-normal season.