By LEANDRA ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
WITH all eyes on Hurricane Lee, Captain Stephen Russell says the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is as ready as can be and has completed all shelter inspections in the event of an approaching storm.
“In April, like we do every year, our shelters are normally inspected,” the NEMA director said. “Up to last week Thursday, when Social Services gave a briefing to the prime minister, 145 shelters had been inspected and ready for use.”
He said crews are also carrying out tree trimming exercises and added that all telecommunication systems are up and running to get the message out if a hurricane were to hit.
“BTC, BPL - all those institutions that utilise power lines etcetera and where trees may be encroaching on power lines, they have been conducting their tree trimming prior to the start of the hurricane season. That is still ongoing.”
Lee strengthened to a Category One hurricane yesterday, carrying sustained winds of 75mph. The storm is forecast to become a major hurricane at the end of the week.
Meanwhile, local weather officials said it’s too early to tell whether the storm could seriously impact The Bahamas.
Nonetheless, Captain Russell offered these tips to help Bahamians get prepared.
“We encourage persons to ensure that there homes are in a state of readiness for what may come this hurricane season in terms of having adequate shutters for their homes making sure that their roofs would’ve been checked as necessary,” he said.
“We urge persons who have concern about flooding in their areas, if you don’t think that you can ride out the storm in their respective homes, find alternate locations as to where they can ride out the storm or become familiar with where our nearest shelters are and likewise find ways to safeguard their documents and other equipment around their homes.”
“We encourage persons to be mindful of their vehicles and boats to secure those as well. So we have been giving out a series of tips. We have been speaking to various communities making presentations as to how people can prepare for what may come for the remainder of the hurricane season.”
“We are approaching the peak of the season sometime the end of this week - Sunday the 10th - and we expect the tropics to be active.”