Published On: Mon, Sep 4th, 2017

No sense of urgency

Okay, so we bought the duct tape to tape the large windows of our condo, we bought some extra water and made sure we have batteries for everything that runs on mobile power. We also bought cat litter, because we want to keep our animals inside once the you-know-what hits the fan on Tuesday or Wednesday. Irma is coming, but no matter where we looked this weekend, we missed that sense of urgency, that frantic level of activity one associates with preparing for a real bad situation.

Have we become too comfortable with ourselves? After all, Luis happened 22 years ago and that’s an event for the history books. Right?

We notices a large pile of garden debris at the end of our road on the French side, at least a sign that people are clipping away at the greens in their gardens that could become a hazard in case of a big storm.

And we hear that a lot of people are nervous about what is going to happen next. Who knows? Irma will bring us some seriously bad weather; that much seems certain.

How bad will it be? The last time the island was hit by a major storm, Gonzalo in October 2014, damages did not exceed $5 million according to insurance broker Neil Henderson. That’ still a lot of money, but not the end of the world.

It is easy to forget how bad Luis was – especially for those who did not live through it. But residents who experienced this terrible storm would not wish a hurricane on anyone – and they are most likely among the best prepared for all eventualities.

In 2014, the government was on the receiving end of reproaches because its warning about the oncoming hurricane had come too late.

But what Paul Martens of the office of disaster management said in 2014 about those complaints is still true today: citizens have to be prepared for hurricanes all through the season.

Ignoring all the advice and urgent request to actually do something comes at a price.

Now that we are faced with potential storm trouble again, it is still not too late to take all those basic measures. Secure your home, your family and your animals and it the l-place where you live it not hurricane proof, find shelter elsewhere.