By Ketricia Finch

St Kitts Reporter

The 2007 hurricane season officially starts today (Friday) and ends in November. People are already preparing for any alerts and warnings for the next few months, acknowledging the damage previous hurricanes such as Hurricane George, Lenny and Hugo have caused on our island.

Several individuals this week advised the general public on storm preparedness – about what they should do to their homes (internal and external), to their vehicles and boats, in case nature decides to make a course for our shores any time throughout this hurricane season.

What should you do in preparation for the huricane season?

Moet Greaux, Car Detailer – There is nothing much you could do to preserve a home because if the Lord has it that he would knock down the house, it would happen. All we could do is hope and pray for the best. People would go out and spend an amount of money to batten down their windows and their roof and then tomorrow the hurricane would still go with a hundred million dollar roof. You would still need more shutters and windows.

It’s just preparing yourself and investing for a bigger investment. Why? The biggest fear of being in a hurricane to me is being without food because you could live without a roof but you can’t live without food. People should stock up on their food and medicine. You could always run in a shelter, under a car or a boat if you lose your house.

Erlene, BCA – People should buy a lot of non-perishable food. I am already preparing in terms of my household items. I already bought my extra kits for storage of water and my batteries. I normally buy my plywood to bar up my windows and doors but I don’t have those as yet. I fear the wind the most because the wind goes with everything although I never witness bad treatment from a hurricane. I’m always lucky. I was living in a house once and during a hurricane the whole roof went but I wasn’t in the house at the time. I was happy for that.

Natasha Rawlins, C. F. B. College – I live New Road on a hill so definitely I experienced high winds. I had animals and I just used to let them go wherever they wanted to go before the hurricane. If people know their house is not good, it would be best for them to find a place to stay. People should stock up on food also, the non-perishables.

Shuttle, Electrician – If somebody is actually in a hurricane, all they need to do is look for a safe place where they can shelter because we know now that it has been proven that nothing can easily withstand a hurricane. I have seen iron, steel and metal bend up from travelling in a hurricane. It seems as though now when you have a roof over your head you are no longer safe under it unless it is concrete.

Most of the time hurricanes don’t last for more than 2 or 3 days. You might only want to look food to last for 1 day or 1 1/2 day because after that, things come back to normal. I think Kittitians have learned how to handle natural disasters on a whole so to me it’s not a big thing. The only way you could protect a boat from drifting is if you take it out the sea. People with vehicles need to place them away from a pole. In the garage is a good place.

Lawson, Public Works – First of all, you need to listen to the radio to get the current status of the weather. You should already have your shutters prepared just in case you have to board up. In doing this, you could board up quickly and effectively. You should also have a family plan and ensure that you have a safe room and if you don’t, then you should go shelter with neighbors.

You would also need to get non-perishable food at hand. If you could get your vehicle to a safe place, that would be best. Most importantly, you need to make sure you have gas in it before the storm comes so you could move quickly in case of emergency. If people are in doubt, then they shouldn’t stay in their homes. They should get to a shelter, a friend or neighbor – somebody with a safer house.