SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – The first of four Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings, held in Simpson Bay on June 6th, got off to a good start despite rainy weather. The goal of the Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings is to raise the awareness of the public in order to make the necessary preparations before the peak of the Hurricane Season 2019. The Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings are a precursor to the larger Hurricane EXPO 2019 that is scheduled to take place on June 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm on the Clem Labega Square in front of the former Government Administration Building in Philipsburg.
Persons that attended the 1st Hurricane EXPO Community Evening were able to hear presentations from Emergency Support Function (ESF) #7 who spoke about getting prepared in case of an evacuation or going to a shelter, shelter rules, and their responsibilities during an emergency. UNICEF and the Court of Guardianship addressed concerns of child protection and the importance of communication with your children as part of the preparation process. The importance of having valid travel documents in case evacuation becomes a necessity.
The Association of Psychologists and Allied Professionals (APAP) spoke on why it is important for all persons in our community to express their feelings on the impact of the storm and not to wait until the trauma is too much to bare. Meanwhile, the Animal Defenders reminded the audience that while preparing a personal emergency bag, it is important to prepare one for pets. If pets cannot be taken, please don’t leave them on a leash during the passing of a hurricane. It is advised to have pets tagged or microchipped so that if they are lost and found, the shelter can contact the owner.
Insurance provider NAGICO was also present to share pertinent statistical information and lessons learnt since the passing of Hurricane Irma. Special emphasis was placed on persons avoiding being under-insured by updating their policies with new appraisal reports and making sure they are aware of the contents of their policies.
The 2nd Hurricane EXPO Community Evening will be taking place on Wednesday June 12th at the John Larmonie Cultural Center in Philipsburg at 7:30 PM. This meeting will feature two new additions to the presenter’s line up including the National Recovery Program Bureau and the Central Bank of Curacao & Sint Maarten.