Sagicor warns: “Refrain from being complacent in your hurricane season preparation”

Roseau, Dominica: Despite a 25 percent decline in activity being forecasted for the 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season, Sagicor is warning everyone not to be complacent in their preparations for the impact of any potential weather systems that may make landfall over the coming weeks and months.

In its May 31st hurricane season forecast update, Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) states that activity this hurricane season is forecast to be around 25 per cent below the 1991-2020 30-year norm, maintaining their previous forecast published earlier in April.

The report stated, that despite the anticipation of a season with below-norm activity, “this outlook has large uncertainties and the forecast skill at this range is low”, a caution that any change in conditions could result in a much different outcome over the course of the June 1st to November 30th season.

“Although large uncertainties remain at the pre-season forecast range, we consider that the more likely scenario is for tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea waters to be slightly warmer than normal by August-September 2023, and for moderate El Nino conditions to develop and persist through August-September 2023 and into the autumn, thereby contributing to enhanced trade winds over the tropical North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea and enhanced vertical wind shear. The combined effect of these environmental factors is expected to suppress North Atlantic hurricane activity in 2023”, the TSR report outlined.

As it relates to the number of storms projected to form over the six-month season, the report forecasted 13 Tropical Storms and 6 Hurricanes, with 2 Hurricanes predicted to be at the level of category 3 or higher.

SGI’s Vice President – Insurance Operations, Mark Prescott, echoed the TSR’s underlying caution, stating that the experiences of the last few years are a clear reminder of the of unpredictable nature of life, which should encourage every individual and business to put measures in place to protect themselves against the unforeseen.

“Just a couple weeks into the season and we have already seen the development of Tropical Storm Bret. In 2021, we had witnessed the unusual development of Subtropical Storm Ana prior to the official start of the season, while in 2022 we had a similar occurrence with the formation of Hurricane Agatha, which made landfall along the Pacific coast of Mexico”, he stated. “By August, we had already seen the development of Tropical Storms Alex, Bonnie and Colin, so when we look at recent history, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the unpredictability and uncertainties of life and why we always need to be prepared.”

Prescott reiterated his annual plea to Dominicans and all Sagicor policyholders, “Check your roofs, windows, doors and the walls of your property for, and repair any cracks or weak areas. If indeed your home is damaged by a storm, we will be there to provide the financial and emotional support our clients need to get things back in order, however, by reducing the potential for damage through repairing or reinforcing key areas, any discomfort to you and your family can be significantly minimized.”

The experienced insurance executive also encouraged all property owners and renters to make a detailed list of their possessions and valuables and seriously consider taking out a contents insurance package to cover any potential damage or destruction that could be caused by a storm, hurricane, or seasonal flooding.

For more information and to get the best coverage for those valued possessions, Prescott urged individuals to reach out to the company’s team of knowledgeable representatives using one of many options, such as dialling 255-1123 for WilCher Services and 448-2182 for H.H.V Whitchurch & Company. Persons can also connect via SGI’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

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