The Puerto Plata Report: news and travel info from the Dominican Republic's north coast

Hurricane season to be less intense say experts

Experts are predicting that this year’s hurricane season, June 1 until November 30, may be less intense than 2008. They say there will be 12 tropical storms and six hurricanes in the Atlantic, two of which are expected to be severe.

Last year there were 16 tropical storms and eight hurricanes, four of which were severe. Hurricanes such as Fay, Hanna, Gustav and Ike raked across the Dominican Republic last year leaving 12 dead, 65 communities flooded, 15 bridges and highways destroyed and some 40,000 people homeless.

Meanwhile they advise that a better forecast for this season is no reason to relax vigil.

The Miami Hurricane Center has announced the following names for Atlantic storms: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquín. Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Víctor and Wanda.

The names Gustav, Ike and  Paloma, will not be used again until after 2014 due to the damage these storms caused in 2008.

The following precautions have been published by the Canadian Embassy in Santo Domingo.

According to experts the key to hurricane or tropical storm protection is preparation. By taking sensible measures before, during, and after a hurricane, many lives can be saved and property damage averted.

Although most of the impacts associated with tropical storms and hurricanes occur in the coastal areas, these storms can also affect inland areas. The biggest threat to life and property inland is damage from flash flooding and landslides due to excessive rainfall.

Keep well informed by listening to the latest warnings and advisories on radio, television, or web sites. Many Hurricane centers will issue and update these when necessary. It is also important to follow the advice of local authorities and emergency response personnel, and to know how to contact the nearest Canadian government office.

A hurricane preparedness plan includes three basic things that are important in the threat of any severe weather event, and not just for hurricanes:

1. Maintaining a disaster or emergency supply kit;

2. Securing your home and property;

3. Having a safe place to go in the event of evacuation or prolonged utility outage.

A disaster or emergency supply kit should include the below listed items as a minimum.  It is recommended that you consult the two websites provided at the end of this email for additional information and more detailed lists.

– Water – have at least four litres of water available per person per day for three to seven days

– Food – maintain a supply of non-perishable food that is enough for at least three to seven days.  This should include non-perishable items such as: canned food/juices, food for infants or the elderly, snack foods, a non-electric can opener

– First Aid Kit, medicines and prescription drugs

– Sleeping bags, blankets and pillows

– Flashlights and batteries

– Battery operated radio

– Toiletries and hygiene items – including toilet paper, soap, moisture wipes

– Clothing – put aside at least one change of clothes per person, including rain gear and sturdy shoes or boots

– Telephones – ensure cell phones are fully charged.  Each home should be equipped with a traditional, non-cordless phone

– Cash – bank machines, credit cards, and other forms of electronic commerce may not be available during an emergency

– Important Documents – place essential documents in a waterproof containet (ID, passports, medical records, insurance information, etc)

– Fuel – fill all vehicle fuel tanks in advance of a storm

– Tools – have a set with you during the storm

– Specialty items for the children, elderly. Games, toys, and books to keep you and children entertained.

– Pets – plan for you pets by having a sufficient supply of food and water available for them.  If you need to go to a shelter, have a plan in place for where your pet will go.

We would encourage you to visit the following web sites where further information is available on hurricanes specifically and emergency preparedness in general.

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada: http://www.psepc.gc.ca/prg/em/gds/genprep-en.asp

The US National Hurricane Centre:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

Canadians abroad are recommended to bring their whereabouts to our attention if they are not already registered with the Embassy. Registration can be completed online at http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/sos/rocapage-en.asp or by visiting the Canadian Embassy in Santo Domingo or the Canadian Consulate in Puerto Plata.

Should you have particular concerns, please feel free to contact the Consular Section of the Embassy at 809-685-1136. After hours, you may place a collect call to Foreign Affairs Canada’s Operations Centre in Ottawa at (613) 996-8885.

Canadian Embassy Contact Info:
Internet: http://www.santodomingo.gc.ca

Canadian Consulate in Puerto Plata

Calle Villanueva No 8, Edificio Abraxas

Tel: (809) 586-5761

Fax: (809) 586-5762

Puerto Plata e-mail canada.pop@gmail.com

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Office of the Canadian Embassy

In Punta Cana

Carretera Veron- Bavaro Km. 2 1/2, Amstar

Business Center, Building 4, office 404.

(809) 455-1730 main line

(809) 455- 1733 Fax

(809) 455-1734

Filed Under: Puerto Plata Regional News

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