Trinidad & Tobago Hurricane Preparation

The Atlantic Hurricane season is usually, starting June 1 and ending November 30. The following activities should be carried out by all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago in order to minimize their risk to hurricane-related damage and losses.

  • Check your house for loose roofing, siding, rain gutters and downspouts. Ensure that guttering and down spouts are clear. Ensure that windows and doors are secure.

  • Construct wooden shutters to protect windows and doors or have plywood on hand to improvise as shutters.

  • Trim trees around your property. Leave a channel through the remaining foliage to allow for air flow. Remove trimmings lest they become dangerous projectiles in the event of high winds.

  • Ensure that there are no loose/unsecured objects around your home. (Make space indoors should you need to bring in items like lawn furniture usually kept outdoors).

  • Purchase or check your insurance policy bearing in mind these issues:
      • Does it cover wind and storm damage?
      • Does it cover contents as well as structure?
      • Does it include flood coverage or must you get a separate flood policy?
      • Does it cover relocation costs, temporary housing, injury to employees/houseguests?
      • What about deductibles and/or exclusions?

  • Secure emergency supplies, medication and equipment. Check that all equipment is in good working order and that supplies and medicines have not expired.
      • Keep a change of clothes, rain gear, sturdy shoes and food stuff for three days packed and ready.
      • Establish/Review your Family Disaster Plan. Remember to include what to do/who to call/where to meet in case family members become separated.
      • Establish contact with your Regional Corporation Emergency Management Committee. Volunteer your services if you have skills that may be useful to them.

  • You can also organize an emergency plan with neighbours on your street/in your area.
      • Make arrangements for pets.
      • Keep your vehicle in good working condition and maintain a full fuel tank.
      • Maintain a supply of cash

    Information for hurricane preparation courtesy of National Emergency Management Agency
  • Hurricane Scale
    CategoryWind SpeedOcean SurgeType of Damage
    174 - 95mph (119 - 151km/h)4-5 feetMinimal
    296 - 110mph (152 - 176km/h)6-8 feetModerate
    3111-130mph (177 - 209km/h)9-12 feetExtensive
    4131 - 155mph (210 - 248km/h)13-18 feetExtreme
    5more than 155mph (248km/h)18+ feetCatastrophic

    Preparing to evacuate....

  • When a hurricane watch is issued, you should:
      • Fill your automobile’s gas tank.
      • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements for transportation.
      • Fill your clean water containers.
      • Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing.
      • Tune in to the radio or television for weather updates.
      • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
      • Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
      • Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks, etc.
      • Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.
      • Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Emergency shelters cannot accept animals.

  • If you are ordered to evacuate
      • Take only essential items with you.
      • Leave pets indoors in a safe, covered area with ample food and water.
      • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
      • Disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
      • Follow the designated evacuation routes.

  • If you are ordered not to evacuate
      • Monitor the radio or television for weather conditions, if possible.
      • Stay indoors until the authorities declare the storm is over.
      • Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed.
      • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors, seeking shelter in a bathroom or basement.
      • Prepare to evacuate to a shelter if instructed by emergency personnel.

    Information for hurricane preparation courtesy Trinidad Guardian
    Wednesday, September 8, 2004

  • WE ARE now in the 2010 hurricane season and it is important to take all necessary precautions in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane approaching Trinidad and Tobago. Here is a check list you can follow.

  • Now that the hurricane season has started, you need to:
      • Check on alternative cooking facilities if you normally cook with electricity. A camp stove is a possibility.
      • Buy disposable kitchen items so you don't need to use water to wash up.
      • Check to ensure that your baths will hold water, and get new plugs if necessary.
      • Trim your trees and shrubs, especially if they are near to buildings and power lines.

  • During the hurricane watch (36 hours to hurricane conditions) you must:
      • Listen continuously to the weather forecasts, as hurricanes change direction and speed suddenly.
      • Protect your computer data with backup files.
      • Stock up on prescription medications, since pharmacies may be closed after the hurricane.

  • When there is a hurricane warning (24 hours to hurricane conditions) you must:
      • Have extra cash on hand.
      • Remove all pictures, clocks and other hanging articles and store them in a safe place.
      • Have a supply of flashlights and batteries handy. Flashlights provide your safest emergency lighting source during the hurricane/storm. DO NOT USE CANDLES OR KEROSENE LAMPS during strong winds, and try not to use them at any time.

  • Before the power goes you can:
      • Pack your coolers with ice. If possible, have two coolers, one with perishables and the other with ice only. This will limit opening your refrigerator.
      • Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are at the coldest possible settings.
      • Drape blankets over your refrigerator and freezer to keep them cold. Keep the blanket away from the heat exchanger coils on the back, if the unit is still running.

  • During the hurricane you must:
      • Draw all blinds to stop flying glass.
      • Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary as when the winds get strong you are in danger of being hit by flying objects.
      • Don't allow children to go outside under any circumstances as they can be blown away even if an adult is holding them.

    courtesy of Newsday News, entitled "Be prepared for a storm"
    Thursday, June 17 2010,122604.html

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