U.S. Virgin Islands - With Virgin Islands’ families and communities still recovering from hurricanes Irma and Maria, anticipation of the upcoming hurricane season could bring more anxiety. The 2018 hurricane season begins June 1st through Nov. 30, with the peak occurring mid-August through late October.
Planning ahead can help residents be better prepared. The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) and FEMA urge Virgin Islands’ residents to start now to prepare.
“After being hit by two major hurricanes last fall, residents of the Virgin Islands are understandably concerned about the approaching hurricane season. We urge people to educate themselves so they can prepare now for any disasters or emergencies that may occur,” said VITEMA Director Mona Barnes.
The following are three key steps to get your family prepared:
Build a Kit. Consider the specific needs of your family and individuals in it to ensure you have the right supplies for the first 10 days following a disaster as they may have to shelter in place at home.
- Store a gallon of water for each person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
- Gather a 10-day supply of non-perishable foods for each person in the household paying particular attention to family members with special diets and allergies.
- Have enough hand sanitizer, antibiotic ointment, hygienic products, diapers and wipes available.
- Make sure to have adequate food and water for your pet. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar with updated identification tags with the pet’s name, owner’s name, address and phone number.
- Have a favorite toy, stuffed animal, books and activities for the younger members of the family.
- Protect your important documents such as vital records, insurance policies, medical information, property and financial records.
Make a Family Communications Plan. As roads may be impassable and cell phone service may be disrupted, identify alternate ways of staying in touch with loved ones.
- Choose an out of town friend or relative as a point of contact.
- Decide on a meeting place in case you cannot return home.
- Keep important documents and phone numbers with you at all times.
- Ensure children are included in preparedness conversations and make sure they have emergency contacts memorized or saved in a secure place.
Stay Informed. Listen to local official bulletins for the most up-to-date information before, during and after a disaster.
- Make sure your battery-powered radio is working and you have extra batteries.
- Sign-up for VIAlert at https://www.vialert.gov/ to receive information via a SMS Text Message, Alpha-Numeric Page, or other brief mobile device message.
FEMA’s mission is to support people before, during, and after disasters.
For official information, please visit www.informusvi.com.