HEADLINES

PM HARRIS INSPECTS EMERGENCY SHELTERS, VISITS HOSPITALS AND SHUT-INS AS HURRICANE IRMA APPROACHES

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 4, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – With St. Kitts and Nevis expected to feel the impact of Hurricane Irma within the next 24-36 hours, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris spent his Monday morning conducting personal checks and inspections of hurricane emergency shelters and healthcare institutions within his constituency (St. Christopher #7).

The prime minister commenced his walkthrough in his hometown of Tabernacle where he carried out inspections at the Tabernacle Fire and Police Station, community center and at the Tabernacle Day Care Center.

The honourable prime minister then made his way to Molineux where he visited the health center and the recently renovated Mary Charles Hospital.

Dr. Harris stated that through this exercise, he was able to see first-hand the state of readiness of these facilities and also the state of mental alertness of those charged with managing the facilities.

“We were able to have a look at the hurricane shelter in Tabernacle—that one seems to be in good stead. There were one or two minor alterations that have been recommended and those are already being actioned. The Mary Charles [Hospital] is in one of its best conditions, since this is a brand new facility completely renovated in recent vintage, and so in terms of its physical structure it certainly is in a much more robustly secured position than one could recall in recent memory,” Dr. Harris said.

During a stop at the Grange Nursing Home and Health Care Facility, owner Mrs. Pat Richards-Leader, M.B.E., updated Prime Minister Harris on their preparations and contingency plans for keeping residents and staff safe during the passage of the storm.

These, according to Mrs. Leader, include the hiring of an additional emergency team that will stay at the facility during the storm to rectify any issue that might arise. Such forethought is important to help prevent any of the residents from being injured in a nursing home due to a lack of care, as this can lead to hefty legal pursuits.

“I was very impressed with what I witnessed at the Grange health facility; owned, operated and excellently managed by Mrs. Patricia Leader,” the prime minister stated. “She has a model operation there—the cleanliness, the quality of the service has always been professional and at an excellent best. In that regard, I was further impressed by the fact that she has already put in place her emergency plan, which involves the coming on board of additional workers including those who would have to deal with maintenance, should those needs become evident as we face the weather.”

The St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister urged every citizen to take this hurricane and the relevant notices and warnings seriously by putting their own hurricane plans and preparations in place to safeguard life and property during the storm.

He added, “Every hurricane should be taken seriously regardless of the category and this one from all appearances would be significant in terms of its impact and consequence were there to be a direct hit. Again, I call upon every resident and citizen to be alert, to stay apprised and informed of developments with respect to the weather [and] to do whatever they can to ensure we minimize any opportunity for injury, for harm or even death to anyone.”

Hurricane Irma remains a category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, with additional strengthening forecast through Tuesday night.

As such, a hurricane warning is now in effect for the Leeward Islands, which includes St. Kitts and Nevis. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area within 24-36 hours. If you haven’t already, you should start preparing for when the storms hits by making sure all your belongings are as safe as possible and you have an emergency kit on stand-by. After the storm has passed, check your property for damage and hire a contractor like the WDR Roofing Company to fix any issues.

At 2pm today, the center of Hurricane Irma was located about 560 miles east of the Leeward Islands and 600 miles away from St. Kitts and Nevis. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 120 mph.

On the forecast track, the center of Irma will move closer to the Leeward Islands through Tuesday.

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