BASSETERRE, St.Kitts ( Wednesday 18th September 2019)- The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been advising all residents to make necessary preparation ahead of an approaching storm that could develop into a hurricane this weekend while in the vicinity of the Leeward Islands.
In consideration of the projected path of the then Tropical Depression #10 (TD10), which formed recently in the central Atlantic, Samuel had been preparing for internal consultations and meetings with stakeholders to determine next steps for the agency and for the Federation by extension, as gathered from a recent press release.
At 11am on this morning, the centre of the developed system- named Tropical Storm Jerry- was located near latitude 14.6 north, longitude 49.2 west or about 855 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands and 1041 miles east-southeast of the British Virgin Islands.
It was then moving towards the west-northwest at 14 miles per hour, and that general motion was expected to continue during the next 24 hours.
On the forecast track, the system will be near the northern Leeward Islands on Friday and the northern British Virgin Islands on Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph with higher gusts. Jerry was forecasted to become a hurricane by late Thursday with little change in strength anticipated on Friday and Saturday.
Tropical storm force winds extend up to 45 miles from the centre and the estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb or 29.59 inches.
At the time, no specific action was required of residents in the Leeward and British Virgin Islands other than to closely monitor the progress of tropical storm, review hurricane preparedness plans and be prepared to act as any further westward motion could bring the core of the system closer to the islands.
Although no watches or warnings were required at the time of the latest update, such may become necessary within the next 24 hours, and so all residents are urged to monitor the movement of the storm.
As understood, Samuel along with his deputy Claricia Langley-Stevens have placed NEMA on high alert based upon a conversation held with senior officers at St. Kitts Meteorological Services yesterday morning.
The agency has listed seven (7) areas for action:
• Ensure you have at your disposal a list of emergency numbers and the contacts of your NEMA District Volunteers for your area
• Stay tuned to local media to ensure you receive timely updates and alerts
• Ensure your environs are clear of any potential missiles in high winds or gusts
• Be ready to activate your family plan if necessary, including a plan to shelter with a neighbour or family member should you have to leave your home
• Have extra medication or insulin should you be on long-term medical treatment plans
• Secure legal and important papers in water proof package, should you be inundated by water
• Store water in the appropriate receptacles for drinking, washes cleaning, bathing and flushing toilets.
NEMA assures all residents that it will continue to update the public as the system progresses towards the Federation and on necessary actions to be taken at every step along the way.