Today the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season began and the Belize City Council along with the City Emergency Management Organization unveiled the city’s preparedness and evacuation plans. According to forecasters at the National Meteorological Service, outlooks indicate that a below average to near average activity is likely this season. Indicators are that there might be between six and eleven named systems during the season with three to six of them becoming hurricanes. A release from the National Meteorological Service of Belize says that the predictions are based on the El Niño phenomenon and the source of energy for tropical cyclones is the warm ocean temperatures. However, preparedness is key. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, addressed the media.
“The message that we want to communicate quite clearly at the onset is that CEMO in coordination with all the relevant stakeholders and under the leadership of NEMO is prepared. We have done our homework, we have met on a continuous basis with all our stakeholders and all preparedness has been in place for a period of time now for us to stave off any kind of damaging effect of an emergency and in this case, a hurricane. So we would want to resoundingly send a message to members of the public that the governmental agencies working in collaboration with the stakeholders have done the necessary planning to be able to deal with any event of a hurricane during this hurricane season but it is very important and critical that we have the public’s participation and cooperation very actively in this process. The number one person who will mitigate against any harmful impact from a hurricane is the individual so we want to emphasize the idea of individual planning, that you will have your family emergency plan that your businesses know everything that needs to be put in place for this hurricane season and that every single individual knows their responsibility to cooperate with the authorities. One of the things that we try to emphasize is that shelters itself is a risk, you are in a public setting and we try to ensure that people within that area are protected and that every amenity is provided but our focus is not on comfort. Last year many persons asked in terms of the basic make up, we continually are dealing with the issue that a lot of times in terms of how our schools are outfitted and still schools continue to be the major choice for shelters that the bathroom facilities are not annex to the physical building itself.”
This year’s Hurricane names are, Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.