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Jun 2, 2023

CDEMA Advises People to Pay Keen Attention to Storm Advisories

Elizabeth Riley

Riley advised people in the Caribbean to listen to the advisories that the National Meteorological Service will give when a storm is threatening. She said that because each storm will have different characteristics from another with similar strength, paying attention to the details of the forecasts can be the difference between life and death.


Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director, CDEMA

“We are very much committed as disaster managers to making sure that, you know, we try to avoid loss of life. This is really important. Sometimes it’s about perception, you know. There might be a perception that I’ve already gone through a category four, a category five is coming. I don’t think that should be too much of a bother, but what happens is that the dynamics within individual systems vary. So you do need to listen not just to what is happening with the wind, which is what is explained when you say a category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. But it’s important to listen to the National Meteorological Services on the other hazards that are coming with it. So what’s happening with that rainfall? How much rainfall are we expecting? Are we gonna have some kind of a storm surge that happens in addition to the rainfall? What will that look like? So there are a lot of dynamics within these systems and sometimes because we emphasize the, or I should, I shouldn’t say emphasize, I should say, because we tend to focus, in the official categorization of cyclones on the wind hazard, there’s not a lot of attention paid to the water. And the water is actually the component that causes a lot of problems for individuals. So if there’s nothing else that the general public takes away from this press conference, we really want to emphasize the importance of really listening through the details of what the National Meteorological Service is saying about individual systems understanding that. Every Cat four or every Cat five is not the same. And try to get a good understanding of what potentially will happen and please heed the guidance that is given through the national services.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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