Saint Kitts & Nevis bolsters preparedness for an above-normal 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

(PMO) – Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew in his National Statement to commemorate the start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season highlighted the potential severity of this season, as forecasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The hurricane season begins today, June 1, and will continue through November 30, 2024.
According to NOAA’s National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center, the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be “above normal.” The report indicates an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a mere 5% chance of a below-normal season.

“NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges,” NOAA documented in their forecast.

Prime Minister Drew emphasised the unprecedented nature of this season’s predictions in his national statement stating, “This season bears the characteristics of some of the most intense years on record, including 1878, 1926, 1998, 2010, and 2020. These comparisons are a stark reminder of the potential devastation we may face.”

Prime Minister Drew noted that climate change is a significant factor contributing to increased hurricane intensity and frequency. “The record warm sea surface temperatures are a direct result of our changing climate, creating more favourable conditions for the development of powerful storms”, he said.

The prime minister urged the public to diligently prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

“Ensure that you have an emergency plan in place, and if you do not, please contact the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for guidance and assistance. Stock up on essential supplies, ensure that your property is secured and insured, and stay informed through reliable sources of weather updates such as the local Met Service and the local disaster management offices”, emphasised Prime Minister Drew.

He also reassured the public that the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis has already convened national stakeholder engagements as part of the nation’s comprehensive preparedness strategy. The Nevis Island Administration (NIA), through the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD), has indicated its readiness for the upcoming season with similar activities mirrored on Nevis.

Prime Minister Drew highlighted the involvement of various stakeholders and industries, including district volunteers, healthcare, tourism, agriculture, telecommunications, utilities, food service suppliers, and the air and sea ports authorities, all working to ensure a state of readiness.

In addition to local efforts, Saint Kitts and Nevis has strengthened partnerships with local, regional, and international bodies, such as the St. Kitts-Nevis Red Cross Society, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), United Nations (UN), and the governments of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

“The Government’s all-of-society approach ensures that the most vulnerable among us are included in the nation’s preparedness activities, ensuring that no one is left behind,” Prime Minister Drew stated. “The Government’s goal is to protect every citizen and resident in the Federation.”

Concluding his statement, Prime Minister Drew reassured the public that the Government pledges its full support to ensure all necessary resources will be made available to national disaster offices to maintain a state of readiness.


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