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Use Graveyard Period To Prepare For Hurricanes - ODPEM

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) is advising householders and property owners to take advantage of the hurricane 'graveyard' period, from June to late August, to carry out inspections and repairs ahead of the active phase of the season.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.

Regional coordinator at ODPEM, Roland Haye, said that for the first three months, weather systems that are formed usually break down and die in the southern Caribbean, hence the period is referred to as the graveyard for most storms.

"That's why now is a good time to carry out any preparations in earnest," he says.

He explained that systems that are formed in this early period are usually affected by layers of dust from the Sahara desert, which have a negative impact on storms.

He said that wind shear, which is the variation of the wind's speed or direction over a short distance within the atmosphere, can also rip storms apart, preventing them from forming.

Additionally, Haye noted that this time of the year, there is less moisture in the mid-atmosphere to support a storm. "They will form in the Atlantic, but once they enter the Caribbean, particularly the southern Caribbean, the conditions are not there for them to develop further. It is for that reason I would advise people to carry out the necessary preparations now," he says.

Later on in the season, from late August to mid-October, is when the region is more likely to be hit by a hurricane, as storm systems have more favourable conditions to develop.

Regional coordinator at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Roland Haye.

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