Providenciales, 10 Jun 2015 – The tropics are quiet and will remain that way for the next 48 hours according to the National Hurricane Center, but as a tourist destination which functions as such 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and with thousands of guests on our shores, we asked the Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies what would happen to and with all of our visitors in the event of a storm.
“The Hotel Association is part of one of our subcommittees, also the Tourist Board so they are kept in the loop of information that we are receiving and they can share this with their partner agencies and hotellers. If a storm is threatening the Turks and Caicos Islands, it is not our policy to tell tourists to leave. We would provide them with sufficient information that they themselves – the visitors – can make an informed decision whether they want to ride out the storm in the Turks and Caicos Islands or they prefer to seek refuge at home.”
Dr. Virginia Clerveaux explained there is a network of public and private sector organizations working together and the TCI does not have a policy forcing guests to leave the country; but there are recommendations the DDME can make to give anyone a chance to evacuate.
“If a storm is threatening the Turks and Caicos Islands and we have sufficient time, what we would do is encourage – through TCIAA – more flights, the airlines to provide more flights so persons who wish to leave, whether you are a resident or a visitor, if you would wish to leave then you would be able to do so and that would be the same for the cruise ship industry.”