The hurricane season is once again upon us, and as good corporate citizens, we feel an obligation to help our readers prepare for any eventuality.
Too often, the weather is reported with reference to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola or Antigua & Barbuda; or in latitude and longitude co-ordinates, and many persons do not quite understand. So we will explain it for our readers.
St Kitts & Nevis is located at 17° 20ˊ North latitude of the equator and 62° 40ˊ West of the longitude prime meridian. These are the two lines (the equator & the prime meridian) which divide the world into 4 quarters. For us, the important part is the 17 and the 62. Any time you hear a storm is LESS than 17°N and 62°W, it is heading towards us. Hurricanes usually move from south to north and from east to west.
If the weather report uses Puerto Rico as a reference point, bear in mind that Puerto Rico is 18° 15ˊNorth, and 66° 30ˊWest of us, and is about 240 miles away. Hispaniola is in the same direction (19°N 71°W) but further away at about 400 miles. Antigua is a mere 60 miles away and, at 17° N & 61° 48ˊW is almost due east but slightly south of us.
You may often hear distances quoted in kilometres instead of the miles that you are accustomed to. A kilometre is slightly more than half a mile. Thus, a storm that is 200 km away is just 120 miles away and may be closer than you think.
The Government will issue watches and warnings. The former means that dangerous weather is approaching, so pay attention and stock up on essential items. A warning means – and this is a direct quote from the internet – “don’t even think about leaving your house/business/school wherever because it’s not safe to go outside. If you’re traveling when a WARNING is issued, you need to not try to fight the storm, but instead find a place to hang out until the worst of it is over. Associate a watch with keeping an eye on things. Warning has an ‘I’ which can stand for ‘imminent’ or ‘is’ happening right now”. Many employers outline a policy which requires movement during a watch. Be guided.
Don’t go gawking. Obey evacuation orders. It is not fair to put the lives of emergency workers in jeopardy to rescue persons who willfully and deliberately ignore orders.
Finally, pray. Pray fervently and earnestly for our continued deliverance and for strengthening of those who have to forbear.