Preparing for 2017 Hurricane Season
June to November – that is the span of the Atlantic Basin’s hurricane season. But truth be told, preparation for “The Big One” is never far from the minds of many, especially the Central Emergency Management Organization. Securing shelters, fine-tuning plans, engaging the public – it is all in a day’s work for the man in charge, Councilor Philip Willoughby.
Philip Willoughby, CEMO
“We’ve never had a cut-off date, so to speak, in terms of doing trainings, enhancing our capabilities and strengthening our capacity. As you know, via the Flood Mitigation Project we will be receiving several new pieces of equipment; also you know that strategically planning with N.E.M.O. and other external agencies, complementing what we do post-Hurricane Earl – with those exercise – I look at it as an exercise, we did our post-mortem – we can only become better in implementing our strategies, in terms of being better prepared going into the 2017 hurricane season.”
“The forecast, as I recall reading somewhere, at least at this point, is for what we might call a below-average season: something like eleven named storms; four hurricanes; two major hurricanes; obviously that doesn’t affect your preparation because you prepare as if anyone could be “The Big One.”
“We do not take any weather pattern for granted; there’s no system that is taken for granted, because you don’t know what will occur when a system is just beyond the shores of Belize. So gain we take nothing for granted, and we always err on the side of caution, we always listen to N.E.M.O., the Ministry and the national emergency coordinator, receiving requisite information from the Met Service and that is what guides us and that is what directs our actions; nothing else.”