Minister Ming on hurricane preparedness

National Security Minister Renee Ming noted that the hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and urged all residents to prepare.

Speaking in the House of Assembly Friday [May 21] The minister said: “The first forecast for 2021 is that the season will be even more active than the new higher averages. Colorado State University, which is recognized as the world leader in forecasts, said the start-of-season forecast is 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

“NOAA and NHC yesterday released their forecast for the 2021 season. The first tropical storm of the 2021 season was announced on May 10, for the Pacific coast. Due to climate change, the NHC began its forecast two weeks earlier this year on May 15.

“We all understand that it only takes one hurricane to make 2021 an active season for Bermuda, and I urge all residents to be prepared.

Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to remind this honorable House that we are about to enter hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

Mr. Chairman, based on records from the past 30 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], National Hurricane Center [NHC] upped the numbers on what is considered an average season. The numbers have gone from an annual average of 12 named storms to 14 named storms; and from 6 hurricanes to 7 hurricanes. The average of major hurricanes, classified as category 3 or higher, remains the same at 3.

Mr. President, the 2020 season was marked by a record season with 30 named tropical storms, 13 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes. Bermuda saw Hurricane Paulette strike overnight on September 13 and 14, and Hurricane Teddy overnight a week later on September 20 and 21.

Mr President, that said, the first forecast for 2021 is that the season will be even busier than the new higher averages. Colorado State University, which is recognized as the world leader in forecasts, said the start-of-season forecast is 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. NOAA and NHC yesterday released their forecast for the 2021 season. The first tropical storm of the 2021 season was announced on May 10, for the Pacific coast. Due to climate change, the NHC began its forecast two weeks earlier this year on May 15.

Mr. Speaker, each year the government begins preparations for the hurricane season before the season begins. In preparation for the 2021 season, the 100.1fm emergency broadcast facility has now been fully relocated to the new government tower in Prospect and is broadcasting at reduced power every day. The power will be increased if necessary. Honorable parliamentarians may recall that the station was used last December when the power went out across the island. The public is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the station by logging in from time to time while driving.

Mr. Speaker, Hurricane Preparedness Week is traditionally held during the first week of June and this year will run from Monday May 31 to Friday June 4. During Hurricane Preparedness Week, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation team [DRRM] will coordinate a number of exercises to re-familiarize and train new personnel with the Emergency Measures Organization Operations Center located at the Hamilton Fire Hall. The week will also be used to test equipment and conduct staff training for the emergency broadcast facility. [EBF]. EBF will test its connections with the Bermuda Weather Service and the government’s Facebook Live link.

In addition, Mr. President, the FBE will be online every day at lunchtime, for 30 minutes with guest speakers for the daily themes of the preparation, namely:

  • 1. Monday – Personal safety
  • 2. Tuesday – Family Safety
  • 3. Wednesday – Financial security
  • 4. Thursday – Strengthen your home
  • 5. Friday – Community and neighbors

Mr. President, during this week the EMO will meet on Wednesday, June 2 to ensure that each organization’s planning is underway for the 2021 season.

Mr. Speaker, we all understand that it only takes one hurricane to make 2021 an active season for Bermuda, and I urge all residents to be prepared.

  • Now is the time to prepare and repair your home for hurricane season.
  • Now is the time to review your family plans and update them with any phone number changes and other important information.
  • Now is the time to take stock of all the medical prescriptions your family and pets need and make sure you have at least two weeks.
  • Now is the time to check your hurricane kit to make sure you have working flashlights, a portable radio with spare batteries, and a stock of non-perishable food for your family for seven days.
  • Now is the time to make sure your home insurance policy is up to date.
  • Now is the time to visit your vulnerable neighbors and ask if they need help with their preparations, keeping Covid-19 safety precautions in mind.

Mr. Speaker, several years ago the Department of Communications launched their smartphone app called “Tree Frog”. This app will alert all users to news and alerts issued by the Bermuda government and will include all alerts issued by the Emergency Measures Organization of which the public urgently needs to be informed. I urge everyone in this Honorable House and all residents of Bermuda to sign up for this app, which is free, to ensure that you receive all emergency alerts.

Mr. Chairman, the DRRM team will hold a new EMO meeting for all EMO agencies at the end of August, to update the country on the latest hurricane season forecast for 2021, which will be released in early August.

Mr. Speaker, each year during hurricane season Bermuda has the opportunity to demonstrate its strength and resilience. I am convinced that with good preparation this year will be no different and we will safely withstand any storm that could put a strain on our coasts. The DRRM team and the Department of National Security will continue their work to ensure that we are well prepared.

Mr. Speaker, as we speak the Bermuda Weather Service is in constant communication with the National Hurricane Center in Miami as there is an area of ​​non-tropical low pressure located approximately 500 miles to the east-northeast. of Bermuda which produces violent and disorganized winds. showers and thunderstorms.

Mr. Chairman, we expect this storm to move towards Bermuda over the weekend and bring adverse weather conditions and it will likely become a subtropical cyclone later today or Saturday near or to northeast Bermuda.

Mr. Chairman, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Team is in constant communication with the Bermuda Meteorological Service and will be over the weekend in case the storm intensifies and the Emergency Preparedness Organization emergency should be called. This is not expected to happen, but residents of Bermuda should check the BWS website over the weekend for the latest updates.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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