Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said the government in Dominica is taking precautionary measures to protect the lives and property of those on the island.
He spoke at a function last week ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on 1 June.
“We have the hurricane season coming up in the next few days, I can say to you that the government is taking, as it has done in the past, precautionary and preemptive and proactive measures to as far as possible, as far as humanly possible, to protect our citizens and their properties,” he said.
He pointed out that several meetings have been held and plans are being put in place for the season.
“One of the major challenges we had is in respect to shelters and the adequate number of shelters.”
“Thank God, most communities, the majority of communities do have shelters but we continue to solicit the cooperation and collaboration of all citizens.”
He appealed to owners of private homes with adequate space to make them available as hurricane shelters.
“We ask you and we call on you to make your homes available to your fellowmen in this country as we all prepare ourselves for the Hurricane Season,” he remarked.
Skerrit pointed out that while Dominicans must look to the government for leadership and for a national plan in relation to preparation for the Hurricane Season, it is also an individual responsibility.
“Each family must prepare his family, each business owner must prepare his business for the Hurricane Season security-wise, ensuring that your documents are protected,” he noted.
“If there are drains, a blocked drain at the back of your business place, at the back of your home, mobilise the community and clean it because at the end of the day these things can have a devastating impact on our properties and even on our lives. So, the churches, each one of us must engage in preparing ourselves for the Hurricane Season.”
He said the Education and Information Committee will be on the radio informing of actions that can be taken as individual citizens and families to prepare for the Hurricane Season.
“So I am calling upon you to play your part in this effort,” the Prime Minister stressed.
The Hurricane Season ends on 30 November.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has forecasted that the season will be near or above average than past years with 10 to 16 named storms.
This will include one to four major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher intensity.
Dominica was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a monster category five storm, in September 2017.