Are You Ready?
by Amit Uttamchandani
As the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season enters its winter years, I find myself being very thankful once again and somewhat reflective on related matters.
Thankful that as an individual, my friends, families and co-workers (in Barbados) were spared. Thankful that as a citizen of a country that is still largely dependent upon tourism and foreign exchange to pay for its imports, that once again our little rock has again escaped without major incident (knock wood).
Proof that once again God is a Bajan (or at the very least, holds some special status in Barbados). However, there are those of us who were not as fortunate. In particular, our brothers and sisters in Jamaica and our northern neighbours in the U.S. of A re: Hurricane Sandy. Lives have been lost and devastated and billions of dollars of damages have been incurred (with recovery efforts still ongoing).
Reflective about the fact that despite all of the things that Man (and Woman) has accomplished, Mother Nature proves time and time again that she is still driving the bus and that we are just along for the ride (despite the fact that some of us behave in an unruly fashion on occasion). Continue reading
YIPPIE!!! We have online RADAR!
Thanks to acting director Mr. Hampden Lovell and his team at Barbados Meteorological Services, Bajans at home and overseas now have online access to Barbados weather radar images. Ordinary citizens will be able to keep an eye on developing weather and start to make plans and provisions earlier based upon their own needs and assessments.
We expect that online weather radar will drive an increased interest in the weather, especially during the hurricane season. Online access will get everyone talking when there is even the potential of something developing into a storm. That has to be good.
Next Up: FaceBook, Twitter
A few days ago the USA’s National Hurricane Center issued an advisory on a low pressure system developing to the SouthEast of Barbados. BFP wrote a story Tropical Storm Alert Barbados: 30% chance tropical cyclone next 48 hours, and within the next 4 hours we had over 600 referrals from various FaceBook pages as Bajans discussed the potential storm and directed their friends to read the alert at Barbados Free Press. Continue reading
Hurricane straps – I had them, Victor Holder didn’t.
More than a few Bajan homes lost large pieces or the whole roof in Hurricane Tomas, but I’d love to know how many severely damaged homes were equipped with hurricane straps and tabs. Not many, I’d wager.
My roof shook and I lost a window that didn’t have a board over it but the damage was minimal all things considered. Some of my neighbours didn’t fare so well – some through lack of preparation and others because their homes or additions are nothing more than slapped-together bits and pieces. I can’t fault a hardworking man who hasn’t money for a roof over his family other than pushing a couple of old chattel homes together. That’s life in Barbados for many folks, and whether we get a building code or not it’s not going to change the old homes. Not for decades anyway.
So please don’t take it as a criticism against Victor Holder when I mention that he didn’t have hurricane straps installed. Continue reading