ADVISORY # 3 TROPICAL STORM NANA APPROACHING BELIZE EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL - NEMO DECLARES A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR BELIZE TUESDAY, 1ST SEPTEMBER, 2020 as at 11:00 AM The National Meteorological Services of Belize and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advise that as of 10:05 am local time, Tropical Storm Nana was centered near latitude 16.5N, 77.7W or about 120 miles southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. Nana was moving to the west at 18mph with maximum sustained winds of 50mph on this projected path, Nana is expected to make landfall on Belize on Thursday around midday as a Hurricane.
The National Meteorological Service continues to monitor this system closely. NEMO hereby declares a Tropical Storm Watch (one red flag with a black centre). The watch is declared because heavy rain can cause flooding, washout roads, bridges, culverts, winds between 39 to 73 miles can damage homes, tree branches will snap, shallowly rooted trees may be toppled, power lines and poles likely to be affected which could result in power outages and water shortage, loose items can be blown about and storm surge can cause flooding, drowning and beach vessels not securely moored. These are the range of likely impacts.
The public must monitor the progress of this system but do not panic! The WATCH means the public is advised to start putting your family emergency plan into action and to be prepared to seek safe shelter, (2) school managements be notified that NEMO will need to access schools as shelters, (3) boat owners start securing your vessels, (4) a price freeze is in effect (5) public and private essential agencies and utility companies must release their employees when they need to seek shelter for their safety, (6) road infrastructure works need to be prioritized to maintain the lines of communication and (7) media houses and telephone service providers are advised to be prepared to secure your communication infrastructure.
We must make plans for the worst case scenario which is a Hurricane. All Emergency Operations Centre (Command Centers) countrywide will be activated today at 4pm today. All of them had their first meeting yesterday.
Preparedness tips before a storm arrival: SEE/READ ATTACHMENT. All persons in high-risk coastal areas are reminded IF the need arises for you to evacuate and you are (1) not COVID positive, (2) not in quarantine, (3) not awaiting a test result or (4) being contact traced, and (5) not showing symptoms, move early! You must wear a mask. Know which shelter you will go to, take along your essential necessities required for you to survive. The elderly and persons with underlying health conditions must not occupy the same space with normal persons.
Note, people showing symptoms will be contained in a separate section of the shelter building. Hand washing /sanitizing must be done before entering a shelter. Shelter Wardens will allocate shelter space. Social distance must be adhered to and shelters must be sanitized on a regular basis. Garbage must be properly disposed of. Proper cleaning and disinfecting must be done on a regular basis. Shelter Managers must monitor and correct hygiene and cough /sneeze etiquette. The Ministry of Health (MoH) will conduct daily monitoring of shelters to detect people who are sick and showing signs of COVID19. The Shelter Management Team (Public Officers/ Volunteers) MUST use PPE.
We are asking people not to panic, stay calm, don't listen to rumors. Stays tuned for and adhere to the official release from NEMO and the National Met Service and stay alert. Prepare, and move without alarm, scare mongering does more harm than good considering some people's medical condition. NEMO will keep the general public updated. Do not panic Belize we have faced tropical cyclones many times before, the bigger threat is COVID 19 we must wear our masks, social distance and clean our hands and all surfaces on a regular basis. ...Ends....
ATTACHMENT PREPAREDNESS TIPS BEFORE A STORM ARRIVAL:
(1) Avoid being near the coast if your home is not safe, if you live on the cayes and along the coast be familiar with the evacuation routes. Know which shelter you will need to go to.
(2) protect windows with plywood or shutters,
(3) review your family emergency plan; consider all COVID 19 measures,
(4) if you can afford to purchase non-perishable foods and water.
(5) Keep an extra supply of medication. If a member of your household is bed-ridden, seek medical advice. Notify authorities ahead of time if you have persons in your neighborhood that require special assistance to evacuate due to a medical condition.
(6) Secure your important documents and identification. Save the emergency contact numbers for NEMO, the police, fire, and medical facility in your cell phone.
(7) Pets are not allowed in shelters, make plans for your pets, continue to trim trees, clear drains, and secure outdoor items. Farmers make plans to move your animals to higher ground and stockpile feed when required.
NEMO'S IMPORTANT CONTACT INFORMATION
The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936.
NEMO's Emergency Coordinators can be reached as follows:
1. Corozal, Mr. Ronnie Hernandez at 614 7140;
2. Orange Walk, Mr. Aragon at 615 2264; or Mr. Leiva at 614 7177;
3. Belize District Rural, Mr. Alphius Gillett at 614 4735; Mr. Pollard at 6143244;
4. San Pedro, Ms. Vanessa Parham at 614 5865;
5. Belize City, Mr. Al Westby at 614 8604 or Mr. Kwame Scott at 615 7644;
6. Belmopan, Ms. Clare Moody at 614 5705; or Mr. Eiley at 624 2365;
7. Cayo, Mr. Al Westby at 6148604 or Mr. Johnny Ramclam at 614 5891;
8. Stann Creek -Coastal- Dangriga including Mullins River to Independence), Mr. Kevin Flores at 604 3632;
9. Stann Creek -Interior- Hummingbird and Southern highway communities, Mr. David Cruz at 614 8514; and for
10. Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 614 2158 or Mr. Dennis Williams at 614 2393