A tropical storm warning is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) has officially declared that Tropical Storm Warning (Karen) is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago. As a result, the TTMS has also issued an Adverse Weather Alert #3– Red Level.
At 5:00 am today, the National Hurricane Center, Miami upgraded an area of low pressure located to the East of Trinidad and Tobago into Tropical Storm Karen. At that time, the centre of the system was located at 11.9°N latitude and 60.2°W longitude or approximately 80 kilometres Northeast of Tobago.
As a result of this, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago placed Trinidad and Tobago under a Tropical Storm Warning. Tropical Storm Karen is currently moving towards the West-Northwest at 15 km/h and this general movement is expected to continue today. Maximum sustained winds are at 65 km/h with higher gusts expected. Tropical storm force winds extend to approximately 120 km from the centre.
Periods of heavy to intense showers and/or thunderstorms are likely. Heavy/intense downpours are expected to result in street/flash flooding. Gusty winds in excess of 65 km/hr can be expected. The risk of landslides/landslips is very high in areas so prone. Sea conditions are also likely to become occasionally rough.
In light of the above, the ODPM is again cautioning all citizens to be prepared for inclement weather by following these precautionary measures:
a. Ensure your transistor radio and torchlight are working (keep extra batteries). Check for other emergency lights, candles, lanterns etc.;
b. Assemble a household emergency kit (water, food, medical supplies, radio, batteries, flashlight etc.);
c. Secure your important documents, birth certificates, insurance policies, passport etc. in a water-tight container;
d. Pack a ‘Grab and Go’ bag to last at least 72 hours in the event you and your family need to evacuate;
e. Check your house, roof and secure any loose roofing sheets;
f. Clear property of loose items that could cause damage by being blown around in high wind;
g. Board up glass windows and doors;
h. Reduce potential property damage by elevating appliances/key equipment and applying sandbags to vulnerable points in your home/business;
i. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank;
j. Should you be responsible for a boat, secure your vessel;
k. Store essential items (food, water, first-aid kit etc.) in the strongest part of your house where you will ultimately locate yourself and your family. This should be your storm shelter;
l. If you are not confident that your home can withstand the event, move to a safer location by friends or relatives;
m. Learn the numbers of your Municipal Corporation, especially the number of your Disaster Management Unit (see below);
n. Pay attention to the television, radio and social media for any changes in the weather conditions and updates;
o. Check with your immediate neighbours to ensure that they are aware of the situation;
p. Keep in contact with family and community members.
All persons should remain in a state of preparedness throughout the Storm Warning unless advised otherwise by the ODPM or the TTMS. Persons living in low-lying areas, near river banks, coast lines, or living /working in flood prone or landslip prone areas, should be extra vigilant and take the necessary precautions to preserve life and property.
The ODPM would like to remind all persons that “IT ONLY TAKES ONE – One storm to disrupt you and your family’s peace of mind, safety and livelihood”. Thus, it is better to be prepared. Continue to take emergency preparedness messages seriously and get ready ahead of time.
In this regard, the Ministries of National Security, Rural Development and Local Government, Works and Transport and Health, as well as all other government agencies, have been on a nationwide state of preparedness for the possible adverse weather.
The ODPM has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate response and relief efforts, the following steps have been taken:
- The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) continues to advise the public of the weather conditions.
2. The Ministry of National Security through the ODPM remains in contact with all first responders and support agencies to ensure that immediate assistance is rendered if necessary.
- The ODPM continues to share emergency preparedness messages with the public and encourages all citizens to be prepared in the event of a severe impact.
- All response agencies are on standby.
- Sandbags have been distributed throughout the Municipal Corporations and will continue as the need arise.
- The Ministry of Works and Transport has utilised all of its resources to ensure flood mitigation equipment is prepositioned and operational across the island. Contractors are also on call if additional resources are needed.
- The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government has placed all Disaster Management Units, and Community Emergency Response Teams’ (CERT) volunteers on standby. Shelter managers have been alerted and shelters will be activated as the need arises.
- The Ministry of Health has placed all health institutions on standby.
- The Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) held a coordinating meeting today and the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) have been placed on alert.
The National Emergency Operations Centre will continue to closely monitor the progress of this storm and will issue updates as conditions warrant.
This and other related information may be obtained from www.odpm.gov.tt
Citizens can learn more on how to prepare by downloading the ODPM’s Wet/Hurricane Season Preparedness Guide and note the relevant Municipal Corporations’ Disaster Management Unit and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Hotline numbers at www.odpm.gov.tt/hurricaneguide.