Officials say be prepared for hurricane season

Early projections for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season indicate that this year could see a slight reduction in major cyclones.

But Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams today warned Bajans not to take that for granted, and to put the local saying ‘God is a Bajan’ out of their mindset.

Speaking at the press conference to launch the 2023 Hurricane Season earlier today, acting director of the Barbados Meteorological Services, Brian Murray revealed that early projections for 2023 showed that on average, the region could see between 13 and 16 storms, of which around seven or eight could develop into major hurricanes.

The names for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season. (Picture by Tonia Atwell)

“It’s expected to be a normal season, somewhat like last year,” the meteorologist told stakeholders at the headquarters of the Department of Emergency Management, at Warrens Industrial Complex, St Michael.

“We could see fewer storms, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be affected by a tropical storm or even a hurricane,” the meteorologist warned.

Projections for the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season. (Picture by Tonia Atwell)

Abrahams said Barbadians should never drop their guard, and based on the Freak Storm and Hurricane Elsa, both in 2021, should remain vigilant.

“I want Barbadians to be honest with themselves. We would encourage people to go into their shelters. Check on their home insurance for their homes. Remember that Hurricane Elsa barely made Category 1 and was near Barbados for only two hours. Look at the damage that was done,” he reminded the country.

The minister also urged Barbadians to gradually build up on supplies and dry goods and not simply wait until tomorrow when the season officially starts, to rush to the supermarket for what they deem necessary.

Director of the DEM Kerry Hinds, revealed that all services were in place for this year’s hurricane season, with 89 shelters available and logistics in place should Barbados have to deal with a climatic event. She did suggest, however, that more people were always welcome to volunteer their services and join the closest district emergency organisation.

The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 until November 30. (BA)