News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Ministry of National Security takes this opportunity to remind the public that the 2020 Hurricane Season is at its peak. And last week (August 26), the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Renee Ming, JP, MP, convened an Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) meeting of the Executive Group to discuss the latest developments regarding hurricane preparedness.
The meeting conformed to the health guidelines in place such as physical distancing, and EMO members in attendance included Deputy Governor Alison Crocket, and key representatives from the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS), Royal Bermuda Regiment, the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, the Disaster Risk Reduction Mitigation (DRRM) team and other various Government and private sector partners.
Minister Ming received a briefing from EMO members about their disaster readiness, particularly against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. As this time of year is considered the height of hurricane season, the BWS shared the most recent storm season forecasts and projections for the rest of the 2020 season.
Minister Ming said: “September and October are considered critical months for Bermuda during the storm season. We have just witnessed the devastation of Hurricane Laura in the US state of Louisiana, and it’s a reminder for us that we cannot become complacent. It’s important that all residents to take the appropriate steps to ensure that they are storm ready.”
The Minister advised that one of the changes to the emergency procedures is the re-location of the EMO Operations Group headquarters in the event of a hurricane or serious storm.
Minister Ming said: “Due to physical distancing requirements for COVID-19 the EMO Operations Group which is normally co-located at Police ComOps, Prospect will now be re-located to a larger space at the Hamilton Fire Station. This group will collate any emergency reports as it is communicated to Government. At the new location, the EMO Operations Group will coordinate the deployment of a number of agencies including, Police, Regiment, Fire Service, Public Works, BELCO, Parks Department, Health Department and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team.”
One message that resonated from the meeting was the importance of ensuring that the public is properly prepared in the event of a hurricane.
The Minister said: “These are uniquely different circumstances that we are navigating as we simultaneously deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As I have said before and will say again, preparation is key. A change to the usual hurricane kit should be the addition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for you and your family. This includes, face masks or face coverings and hand sanitizer.
“There should be enough PPE to last for at least seven (7) days for each member of your household. Also, please make sure you have at least seven (7) days of food supply and ample supplies of non-perishable goods, prescription medications, fully stocked first aid kits, fresh batteries and smartphone battery packs, flashlights and any other items to aid in an emergency.
“And now is the time to ensure that you carry out any routine activities like making the necessary repairs around your homes such as fixing shutters and blinds; trimming back over hanging trees or shrubs; and ensuring your home or marine vessel insurance is up to date. These activities can assist greatly in ensuring minimum damage and financial costs in the event of a severe storm or hurricane.”
Hurricane Season concludes November 30. The public is reminded that they can get the latest weather updates at www.weather.bm.
Other weather related info resources include:
- FaceBook updates: http://Facebook.com/BermudaGovernment
- Televised weather updates: One Communication Ch. 4 and WOW Ch. 100
- For The Public Forecast: Dial 977
- For The Current Observation: Dial 9771
- For The Marine Forecast Dial: 9772
- For Latest Warnings & Tropical Information: Dial 9773