By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 6, 2022 – The risk of the Turks and Caicos Islands being hit by a major storm has increased significantly this year according to Dr. Holly Hamilton, director of meteorology at the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority.
Hamilton was speaking at the DDME 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Joint Press Conference, held on Wednesday, May 1.
The event was attended by Immigration Minister Arlington Musgrove, Mike Clerveaux Acting Director of DDME, Eugene Williams Department of Planning Control Engineer and Roger Harvey, Deputy Director of Maintenance for the Department of Public Works .
Hamilton explained the chances of impact for the Turks and Caicos Islands as predicted by Colorado State University.
“For named storms, they predict a 59% chance that we will be hit by a storm this season,” she said, and that’s a 40% increase.
“For hurricanes, 32% chance of us being affected compared to the 20% average and [there is] an 18 percent 11% chance of being affected by a major hurricane compared to the average. So you see that’s a generalized increase in the chances of us being affected.
The year 2022 is the first in seven years that a named storm hasn’t developed before the start of Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, but forecasts prove that doesn’t mean the season will be. slow. Hamilton also explained that the storms were more violent now.
“Globally, a tropical cyclone is about 25% more likely to be of major intensity and in the Atlantic that proportion has more than doubled.”
Not only are more and more storms becoming hurricanes, but they are also getting stronger faster. That means, Hamilton said, hurricanes upgrade (from Category 1 to higher) faster, sometimes overnight. It is therefore very difficult to make precise forecasts.
As a reminder, 14-21 named storms 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes are forecast for this season.
This, she said, made it extremely important for TCI Islanders to download the DDME Alert app and PAY ATTENTION to any alerts from the DDME on the app or otherwise.
She noted that TCI was very keen to establish its own meteorological center in the country.
Minister Arlington Musgrove supported this proposal, stressing that it would be very beneficial for the islands.
Minister responsible for disaster preparedness
Minister Musgrove, while expressing hope for a calm hurricane-free season, encouraged preparation for the season saying, “I urge you to be proactive in downloading the DDME Mobile app, creating a contingency plan to your families, replenishing your stockpile of emergency supplies and taking the necessary steps to protect property and possession.
He stressed that “preparedness is not only the responsibility of the government but of all of us”.
Noting that no area of the islands was immune to disaster, he said islanders should “be wise and build resilience through preparedness…we are resilient people and people resilient communities plan and prepare proactively”.
“Planning Ahead” was the main theme of the press conference and Eugene Williams of the Planning Department explained some of the ways TCI Islanders should prepare.
– Make sure your roofs are properly anchored and replace rusted screws Hurricane
– Make sure all windows and doors are properly fixed to the walls
– Shutters or plywood must be placed on all windows
– Make sure all exterior walls are coated with cement or paint
– Make sure you have provisions for stormwater disposal (drains, etc.)
– Ensure simple drainage is created
– Ensure that personal
– Residents of low areas are registered with the hurricane shelter in case of evacuation
– All construction sites must properly wedge materials
– Remove all debris from yards for your safety and the safety of others.
– Secure important documents and certificates (birth, death, marriage.) land titles, etc.
Persons who believe that neighboring properties present a hazard to the site which could affect their own property should report this to the Planning Department.
Public Works Department
TCI Islanders won’t have to worry about drains at least, as Roger Harvey, Assistant Maintenance Manager for the Public Works Department, assured that they are in excellent condition.
“All the drainages in the Turks and Caicos Islands, we maintain them regularly. We have greatly improved the quality and flow of water and we have drilled new wells in low areas to receive water as quickly as possible.
Harvey also mentioned that the government had obtained new heavy vehicles to help with the cleanup and that the flooding that is hampering access to Providenciales International Airport has also been addressed.
The Department of Disaster and Emergency Management
DDME acting director Mike Clerveaux said 23 shelters had been prepared for the season but not all would be open at the same time and shelter management training was nearly complete with 63 shelter staff. shelters ready to be deployed.
A meeting was held with the TCI regiment, police, telecommunications players and the National Security Secretariat on May 31, Clerveaux revealed, and she supported finalizing plans for the season.
Although the DDME does not have a concrete figure on how many people have downloaded the new free DDME mobile app, Clerveaux said there will be intensified advertising campaigns to promote safety and the feeling of having this new tool. .
Training of key people in command centers and simulation exercises with key locations, including the airport, were also carried out.
Damage assessment and radio communication training is underway and simulations are to come between the Governor’s Office and the UK Commonwealth and Overseas Development Office.