THE SITUATION: On Monday 17 th July 2017, Tropical Storm (TS) Don formed east of the Windward Islands. According to the latest advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, as at 8:00pm (AST), TS Don was located near latitude 11.2N and longitude 53.8W, which places it about 405 miles east-southeast of Barbados and about 515 miles east of Trinidad.
TS Don is moving at maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour. Don is moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue through Wednesday, with a gradual increase in forward speed. On the forecast track the center of Don will move through the Windward Islands late Tuesday and Tuesday night.
Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) Weather Briefing
On Monday July 17, 2017, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) alerted CDEMA via a Weather Briefing on the status of TS Don. Tropical Storm Don is expected to move across Barbados and the Southern Windwards bringing wet, stormy and gusty conditions late Tuesday/early Wednesday. In addition seas are anticipated to be rough across the island chain during the passage of this system.
It should be noted that CIMH is not a forecasting agency but provides these briefings to the CDEMA CU to facilitate scenario planning at the regional and national levels.
Tropical Storm Warning and Watch Issued
- The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) has placed Grenada under a Tropical Storm Warning as at 5:00pm today, Monday July 17, 2017.
- The Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS) has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as of 5:00pm today, July 17, 2017.
- The Government of Saint Lucia has issued a Tropical Storm watch for Saint Lucia as at 5:00pm today, July 17,2017.
- A Tropical Storm Warning means that Grenada can expect Tropical Storm conditions within 36 hours. Deteriorating conditions with pockets of moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to spread across the threatened States.
The national systems in the threatened States are on alert and monitoring. The following update was provided by the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) in Grenada:
NaDMA has informed all national stakeholders and many regional partners via press release and other electronic means including Whatsapp
The National Advisory Council will meet at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, 18 July 2017
NaDMA will continue to monitor
The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines provided the following update:
NEMO has informed all stakeholders
The National Advisory Council is aware and monitoring. If necessary, a meeting will be held first thing in the morning on Tuesday 18, July 2017
Key area of concern is communications on the southern Grenadine Islands such as Canouan and Union Island. Mobile telephone services are the primary means of communications on those islands. NEMO has been in contact with the islands and they are also monitoring
NEMO will continue to monitor the situation and is on alert to activate NEOC late on Tuesday, 18 July 2017 if deem necessary.
The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) in Saint Lucia provided the following update:
The Saint Lucia Meteorological Services issued 2 advisories stating that the island is under a Tropical Storm Watch
The National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) was informed of the status of TS Don
The Cabinet Secretary and Acting Prime Minister was informed (The Prime Minister is on travel duty)
NEMO is engaging in a number of public awareness campaigns, advising citizens of the storm and sharing safety tips
The Met Service and NEMO continue to monitor the storm.
The CDEMA Coordinating Unit is in contact with the National Disaster Coordinators (NDCs). The status of regional actions is as follows:
The Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) has been placed on standby
The Regional Security System (RSS) has been contacted to place the CARICOM Disaster Relief Unit (CDRU) on standby
CDEMA has placed the CARICOM Disaster Assessment and Coordination (CDAC) team and CARICOM Operational Support Team (COST) on standby
The Eastern Caribbean Development Partner Group on Disaster Management (ECDPG/DM) has been alerted and will convene a meeting tomorrow, Tuesday 18th July 2017
The Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) will update the partners of the RRM on the status of the system at the ECDPG/DM meeting
CDEMA is equipped to offer support through the mobilization and deployment surge capacity in specialized technical areas to its Participating States and stands ready to respond as required
Sub Regional Actions
The Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados Sub Regional Focal Points have been in contact with the CDEMA
Participating States within their respective groupings and are on standby to support where necessary. They are both closely monitoring.
CDEMA will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.
The public is advised to…
Monitor radio or television and other official sources of information for progress reports
Update your personal family preparedness plan and action items according to that plan
The website www.weready.org provides additional information
Tropical Storm and Hurricane Safety tips
Hurricanes can be dangerous, listening to the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage. Here are a few steps to help you be prepared this hurricane season:
Know your Emergency Shelters
Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters. Have evacuation routes planned to the emergency shelters near you.
Have a Hurricane Survival Kit
Protect your windows
Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut to fit each window. Remember to label each panel according to its respective window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
Trim back branches from trees
Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property.
Check into your Home and Auto Insurance
Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate.
Make arrangements for pets and livestock
Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters.
Develop an emergency communication plan
Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
Hurricane Watches and Warnings
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
During a Hurricane Watch
Listen to the radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
Check emergency supplies.
Get cash (in case ATMs stop working after the hurricane)
Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
Remove outside antennas and satellite dishes.
Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
Store drinking water in clean jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
Bring pets safely inside with adequate food and water.
Charge cell phone
Check your Hurricane Survival Kit to ensure it contains all that you will need.
During a Hurricane Warning
Listen constantly to a radio or television for official instructions.
Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored.
Put your refrigerator on the coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
Keep phone lines clear except for serious emergencies
If you need to evacuate your home, lock up home and go to the nearest shelter.
Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.