NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MAY 22, 2023) — Permanent secretaries and department heads in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) were commended for the role they continue to play in disaster management preparedness and mitigation on the island.
Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister responsible for Disaster Management, registered gratitude to the NIA’s senior officers while delivering remarks at the first Nevis Disaster Management Committee (NDMC) meeting, at the Disaster Management Department at Long Point on May 15, ahead of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season which will officially begin on June 01 and end on November 30.
“I want to thank you from the outset, for the commitment that you have shown in this regard over the years because I believe that without your commitment, I think that the people of Nevis and by extension the island of Nevis, would be in much difficulty if you do not perform at the level that we expect of you to perform.
“So I really want to thank you for the commitment, and I would even dare say that a lot of times we have natural disasters you go beyond the call of duty, and I really, really want to thank you for that,” he said.
However, he expressed hope that there would be no natural disasters this year, and as such they would not have to use the skills in disaster management they had garnered over the years.
Meantime, Mr. Brand referred to the first 2023 hurricane season outlook released by The Weather Channel,
“The 2023 hurricane season outlook is more challenging than usual. That’s because there are a couple of conflicting signals. First, an El Niño is increasingly likely which tends to tap down the number of storms, according to the Weather Company and the Colorado State University. However, [the] Atlantic Ocean water is very warm in most areas which could enhance storms, according to the report, and that I believe, is one of the catalysts for the development of storms.
“The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season has more uncertainty than usual due to a couple of key factors according to this Weather Company and the Colorado State University,” he said.
Minister Brand addressed some key areas in the April 2023 report.
“The Weather Company and IBM Business, an Atmospheric G2 are forecasting some 15 named storms, seven of which will become hurricanes and three of which will reach Category 3 status or stronger, in their initial outlook for 2023 which was released back in April. That matches the 30-year average tally for hurricanes and is close to the average number of named storms in a hurricane season, as I said, according to the Colorado State University.
“The Colorado State University is however forecasting 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. These are slightly reduced numbers compared to both the 30-year average and the forecast from The Weather Company, so there is a slight difference between The Weather Company, IBM Business and the Colorado State University,” he noted.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Brand reminded that despite the differences, the point remains that it only takes one hurricane to create havoc on the island.
“It only takes one hurricane to create a major disruption in lives and livelihoods here on the island of Nevis and while we can take some comfort that there are some challenging factors that may damper the usual vibrancy of the hurricane season, let us not take too much comfort because as I said, it only takes one hurricane to create havoc on the island of Nevis,” he said.
During the meeting, Mr. Brian Dyer, Director of the Nevis Disaster Management Department delivered a power-point presentation on the status of the Emergency Operations Center and of preparations for the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane season. Presentations also came from the permanent secretaries and heads of departments who were in attendance.