(BVI NEWS) – Government has said the British Virgin Islands is not yet ready for the hurricane season which starts in two weeks.
But Acting Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering has assured that the territory will become prepared in time for the typically active leg of the season.
“By the peak of the hurricane season, most of the [plans] would have been put in place … The peak of the hurricane season is supposed to be between mid-August to mid-October,” the Acting Premier said.
He was speaking at a media conference with Governor Augustus Jaspert on Wednesday, May 16.
Dr Pickering said government continues to receive bi-monthly updates about the progress of preparations from the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).
He said he is confident in the DDM’s fervour in getting the territory prepared.
We have the plan, vision, and money
While giving remarks on the subject, Governor Jaspert said, at this point, hurricane preparedness is a top priority for local authorities.
“We also agreed to plan extra funding from the Cabinet to repair shelters across the territory and to get communication systems in place,” the Governor said.
“Things are not in the perfect condition … and that’s why recovery is such a priority to make sure we get on with that. We have the plan, we have the vision, we have the structure, we have the money,” he assured; adding that a list of emergency shelters will be released at the start of the hurricane season.
He further said the United Kingdom is still interested in supporting the territory’s recovery, despite their recent decision to impose registers of beneficial ownership on the BVI and other British Overseas Territories.
The move is feared to have adverse impacts on the territory’s main revenue earner — the financial services. That sector accounts for roughly 60 percent of the territory’s annual revenue.