It’s the start of the 2022 hurricane season and the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has been engaging in several activities to ensure that it is adequately prepared for any threat of a hurricane.

The season is predicted to be above normal with 14-21 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.

Training has been ongoing with district disaster volunteers and representatives of churches that are expected to be utilised as public shelters. Work also continues with partner agencies like the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to look at reducing the effects of flooding in various communities.

The inspection of emergency shelters has begun with approximately 60 facilities looked at already. The final list will be made public shortly.

NODS advises residents to always prepare adequately for the hurricane season. Stock up on emergency supplies like non-perishable food, water, medication, flashlight, first aid kit, baby and children’s supplies, if necessary, and personal hygiene items and ensure that properties are safe.

Meanwhile, the disaster office has been working to upgrade its Early Warning System through the installation of radio interrupt equipment as part of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) which sends alerts of a pending hazard.

Equipment has arrived on island that will be installed at a few private radio stations that will allow emergency alerts to interrupt regular programming.

State-owned ABS Radio and Television already have the equipment in place. The CAP is already operational in Antigua and Barbuda via an App on smartphones and also sends messages through email.