National Security Minister Wayne Caines today urged residents to brace for the impact of Hurricane Humberto, which will pass through the local area as a Category 2 hurricane, starting Wednesday evening.

At a news conference held this afternoon (Monday), the Minister said the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) has been  monitoring the hurricane’s progress, as it holds a Category 1 status.

A meeting will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon in the lead up to the storm. By Wednesday, local authorities will be able to say definitively, which services, if any, will be affected and/or halted due to the storm.

“We want the people of Bermuda to be prepared for the storm,” said Mr Caines.

“We have been through this before. The majority of us lived through Emily. We lived through a few of these things.

“How do we minimise damage? How do we prevent people from getting hurt? We prepare,” he added.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a tropical storm watch for Bermuda tonight. This means tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are possible,  generally within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the Royal Bermuda Regiment has been put on standby .

“We believe we are capable and talented and the Bermuda Regiment has trained for this for a number of years, but the Governor has indicated that the FCO does have a team that is ready to assist us on standby in Miami,” said Mr Caines.

At last check, Humberto was situated some 700 miles west-southwest of Bermuda and still predicted to pass some 90 miles off Bermuda by Thursday morning.

National Disaster Coordinator at the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Steve Cosham said: “Humberto is still three days out, and the National Hurricane Centre allow for an error in their predictions of 40 miles for every 12 hours out the storm is.

“This equates to more than 240 miles in three days. This means it’s too early to say exactly what will happen.

“We could have a direct impact on Thursday or we could have blue skies with hardly any breeze if it’s 240 miles away.

“So we don’t want to pull the trigger of closing anything, but we want to have people understand why we can’t yet make that decision,” he added.

The impact of Humberto could start as early as Tuesday, with associated rain as a result of this latest system.

“I must implore all Bermudians to take the storm seriously and prepare their homes and businesses and everything in their personal set of circumstances for the storm,” said Mr Cosham.

“After mid-morning tomorrow (Tuesday), we will see thunderstorms which will lead to the edge of Hurricane Humberto.”

Now that we are in the peak hurricane season period, forecasters say there’s another system that will bring rain to the local area “as early as 10am” on Tuesday morning.

“As such, I strongly encourage the public to revisit your business, household and family preparedness plans and have all preparations completed ideally before the rain comes,” said Mr Caines, who reiterated the following preparedness tips: