TCI News

TCI: More active Hurricane Season predicted and DDME gives thorough update on its readiness

#Providenciales, June 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Warmer seas in the tropics mean there will be more storms for the Caribbean region, including the Turks and Caicos Islands informed Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, Director of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies.  

“The forecasters are now predicting, six hurricanes, up from the previous prediction of five in April.  The projected number of named storms including tropical storms, has also increased from 13 to 14.  However, the prediction of two major hurricanes remains unchanged.”

The slight change in the forecast was announced by meteorologists with Colorado State University and while the number of major hurricanes remains at two, Dr. Clerveaux on Tuesday in a DDME Hurricane Season press conference reminded that really, one is more than enough to bring grave destruction. 

“Whether this year be a slightly below season, a near normal season or an active season it is important for every resident of the Turks and Caicos Islands to prepare as if they are expecting a direct impact of a major storm.  It is easier to scale down than to scale up preparations.”

The Director, in a comprehensive presentation assured that if there were a storm to cause communication catastrophe, the Turks and Caicos Islands are ready. 

“In 2017, satellite phones proved to be an invaluable asset in the coordination and response activities as a result of this, all critical agencies can now boast of having satellite phones to be used as a back up in the event of a communication failure.  We have created a data base which contains the sim numbers for these satellite phones and the person it has been assigned to.  Persons have also been training in how to effectively operate these satellite phones.”

Turks and Caicos Islands also has three BGANs; Broadband Global Area Network devices which are held at the Grand Turk office of the DDME, the Providenciales Office of the DDME and at the Governor’s Office.

“Which allows us to use a satellite in order to transmit information by phone or the internet after an emergency,” Dr. Clerveaux added, “this further strengthens our emergency communication capabilities should there be a major disruption to our normal communication networks.”

The Director said, “Having a plan in place, being familiar with the plan helps to improve efficiency in coordinating and responding to emergencies.”

Attending the press conference held Tuesday at the DDME office in Providenciales were Minister of Tourism with new responsibility for Disaster Management, Hon Ralph Higgs and Deputy Director of Public Works, Gavin Thomas.

There is no tropical cyclone activity expected in the next four days according to the Bahamas Department of Meteorology.  The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on Saturday June 1 and ends on Saturday November 30, 2019.

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