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State of emergency before Irma was necessary- Carvin Malone

- said residents would have been better prepared
Cane Garden Bay in a state of destruction following the passage of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
Former President of the Virgin Islands Party and businessman, Carvin Malone (right) has stated that a state of emergency being called before Hurricane Irma would have allowed residents of the Virgin Islands to better secure themselves and properties for the monster storm. Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), left, has said there was no point in calling one before the storm. Photo: VINO/File
Former President of the Virgin Islands Party and businessman, Carvin Malone (right) has stated that a state of emergency being called before Hurricane Irma would have allowed residents of the Virgin Islands to better secure themselves and properties for the monster storm. Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), left, has said there was no point in calling one before the storm. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Former President of the Virgin Islands Party and businessman, Carvin Malone has stated that a state of emergency being called before Hurricane Irma struck would have allowed residents of the Virgin Islands to better secure themselves and properties for the monster storm.

Hurricane Irma ripped through the Virgin Islands on September 6, 2017, leaving death, destruction, homelessness, panic and widespread looting.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration has been widely criticised for not calling a state of emergency before the hurricane to create a sense of urgency among the masses and prevent issues of looting after the hurricane had passed.

Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) has shockingly since said there was no point in calling a state of emergency before the killer hurricane.

"The United States and its Territories, they get assistance in terms of aid, FEMA on the ground. We don't get such assistance so a state of emergency, there would be no point in that," Premier Smith told Opposition Member Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) in response to a question during the Eleventh Sitting of the Second Session of the Third House of Assembly on November 13, 2017.

Better prepared

But according to Mr Malone, a state emergency would have allowed people to better prepare themselves to brace for the storm.

Mr Malone was speaking as a guest on the ZBVI 780 AM radio show, Honestly Speaking, with Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline on Tuesday November 14, 2017.

“I will tell you why it might have been important for the state of emergency to be put in place earlier, because if you as an employer is not looking for the employees to come out to work…if you had a state of emergency saying that you have to be indoors for x amount [of time], than at least you know this is serious and then everybody would be called upon to stay home and prepare their particular place.

Why didn’t we know about potential direct hit earlier?

Meanwhile, Mr Skelton-Cline was concerned that it was not communicated earlier to the people about the severity of the storm and that the VI was going to get a direct hit as persons overseas, including in the United States and the United Kingdom had known days before that the core of Irma was going to impact the Territory.

“What did the powers that be, DDM, and whoever they report to, what did they know and when did they know it and was it adequately and accurately communicated to us as a people so that we would have done a far better job that what we did in preparation?”

Some people have related to this news site that they learnt about the oncoming direct hit just a couple of hours before the hurricane struck via a mobile text broadcast while some said they actually saw the text only after the hurricane had passed. In both cases, they reasoned, it was way too late.

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, his eldest sister was telling him that a meteorologist in the US broke down [in tears] on TV “because when they saw what was impending on the BVI and the Virgin Islands, they were saying that these people cannot make it and I have heard that on a few other occasions where the people on the US mainland, some even in the UK, that was the news that was being communicated.

“If that was the news that was being communicated there why was that not being communicated here. How is it that we did not have a sense of urgency about what was going to happen to us?”

Mr Skelton-Cline also called on the Governor and the Government of the day to put whatever there needs to be put in place so that the people of the VI would not be left so vulnerable again.

“We cannot afford to leave our people so vulnerable again, pre or post any type of hurricane, because we are going to remain in the hurricane path. “We were not prepared.”

15 Responses to “State of emergency before Irma was necessary- Carvin Malone”

  • Agreed, Islander Texas (16/11/2017, 15:54) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    A State of Emergency should have been called. When we had the last storm, a State of Emergency was called days before the storm hit. Giving us a chance to prepare and evacuate.
  • Road Town Resident (16/11/2017, 16:09) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    DDM and the other news kept saying it would be catastrophic, a monster, worst than Hugo. Calling a state of emergency before hand so we can "Better prepare for two cat 5's" back to back couldn't have done much more. This was History, and no one knew how bad it would actually have been; so the little more preparation that we could have done still would not have matched the devastation. Government allowed more time to prepare than they normally do. Can we focus on fixing what's left of the roads now?
  • wh (16/11/2017, 18:08) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    We just want to continue to blame the government and point fingers but at the end of the day noobe knew what to expect and have anyone been following tge update on hurricane Irma we knew we were in for a direct hit. But as usual we continue to say tge hurricane going to shift and it did a few times but in tge bvi we usually say all we going get is a little wind and rain but not this time now we want to blame government for everything its a shame that educated men would stoop so low to be little the government. Its easy to talk now because the decisions were not yours to make havent experienced a cat5 hurricane. But thank God fir spearing us so we can do what we do best talk shit
  • See (16/11/2017, 18:44) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anyone with a fraction of a brain would have known a state of emergency was in order . We get mashed up with a rainstorm let alone a Cat 5 hurricane ... which we knew it was days ahead . Also by keeping people off the streets we may have had less looting and stealing by the criminals ...and that is my kind word for them
  • vi (16/11/2017, 20:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Storms can be hard to predict, I knew the hurricane was going to hit us direct because I was watching the Weather channel straight. I also realize the storm was increasing rapidly and decided to board up. I did not have any damage, thank God, but although I knew how serious the storm was going to be, I still was not prepared or had any clue that the devastation would have been so great.
  • wize up (16/11/2017, 20:42) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hindsight is always 20/20 some people call it Monday morning quarterbacking: none or most of us an honestly say we anticipated such devastating from the hurricane: maybe malone had a crystal ball:
  • NB (16/11/2017, 21:32) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    I disagree Mr. Malone. No amount of preparation was going to stop Irma from unleashing her wrath. Thats a historic storm
  • Xxx (17/11/2017, 00:10) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Cavin is right
  • Lin (17/11/2017, 08:08) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    When will we stop issuing blame. This is no time for whether or not a state of emergency was called or not. We have to live with the consequences. If it was called - then what? All of us knew that a category 3-5 was coming. It was only until this storm was right on our heels did it form into a category 5. Even the weather persons in America did not know, so please stop blaming. Let us learn from mistakes. Let us turn our lives over to God, the one who chose to let this come upon us. He did not turn it away, yes he could, he did not stop the devastation, yes he could. We the people need to grow up and just love each other. Who really cares if a state of emergency was called. Would that have stopped Irma or Marias wrath?? Absolutely not. Let us rebuild. Let us consider each other. Let us learn from our past. Let us continue in prayer. Let us be our brothers keeper. Let us not try to make it rich off our neighbors. L et us not steal. Teach us how to help each other Lord Jesus. Teach us how to be our brothers keeper. Help us Lord. Help us Lord!! I know that you Lord God can do anything! May your hand continue to rest upon our Land and our people.
    • @all (17/11/2017, 10:58) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      Yes it would have made a difference, lots of people did not take it seriously. I met so many people who said that its not going to affect us, only rain and a little wind. The day before the storm I looked at some buildings and I said my God these people no taking this thing seriously at all, I really wanted to see if their windows would still be intact after the storm. Low and behold they were not. I even fussed and said, how could landlords rent building without hurricane shutters and make a fuss telling the tenants they dont want holes in their walls. Is it not less costly to patch the holes than replace windows. There should be regulations put in place that all buiildings have hurricane shutters and if not, bolts so that plywood can be bolted on and taken off after the storm (hopefully the storm leaves them on).

      If anyone was listening to the weather reports on ZBVI, and you heard the urgency and fear in John Tuey's voice that alone ;et you know the storm was serious. He was so frighten for us, apparently more so than some of us were for ourselves. Every time I heard him it gave me a sense of forboding, that helped me to prepare and pray for my family through out the Virgin Islands and we came out great. Thanks be to God.

      Listening and taking heed is very important, be it a Cat 1 or Cat 5. One never know if it would intensify over us, swerve from us or to us. You can never be over prepared or over cautious.

      I remember a few people making fun at me while shopping and preparing for the hurricane, are they laughing now, I dont think so.

      Storms are unpredictable, its better to prepare than not to and regret after.

      We perish for a lack of knowledge, we had it because we were informed. What we did with the information is important to our outcome. Some choose to heed and some did not. The Government is not to blame, but yes a more profound warning would have helped for better preparation and the seriousness of the storm. However, some still wont have heeded and some would.

      We have learnt a lesson and hope that even if its a tropical wave/storm we will all be prepared no matter the outcome.

      One BVI/
  • BDSA (17/11/2017, 08:40) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    It was necessary Calvin but as u fullywell know that this was not a practice in the BVI to do so. The same thing would have happened regardless of which Political Party was in power The NDP ...made some terrible mistakes long before irma and immediately after and they should be held accountable . We should learn from this storm to be better prepared . As some said ..gaining political mileage seem to be popular these days but the people are suffering they need help blaming each other will not do so. There is a time and place for the blames. The BVI should be proud that after being hit by one of the most powerfiul storm in the Atlantic it is showing remarkable signs of recovery. To all the hard working men and women who are leaving their own troubles at home to help others I must say thank are the real heroes
  • unprepared (17/11/2017, 11:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    When I was putting on my hurricane shutters my neighbour laughed at me..said they survived Hugo, Marilyn and some other hurricane...their windows blew early and caused their roof to blow off. will teach them a lesson next time. you can never be too prepared. But if a state of emergency was declared it would have created the urgency and given people the time to board up etc properly. Leadership matters
  • True (17/11/2017, 13:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    State of emergency was very well need employer's didn't want some workers to leave to go prepared so please people stop with the crap also if a lot of landlord had shutters we would have more home safe
  • Gene Pool (17/11/2017, 15:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was in the U S. Telephoned Tortola and ask my assistant to be diligent in preparations, He expressed surprise about my concerns and said I was worrying and huttin my head for no reason. I was reading the online reports from the BVI and they were emphatic about preparation and the seriousness of the HurricaNe. My home weathered Irmaria. Do not avail myself of the typical BVI luxury of blaming. Take responsibility. Read. Listen. Use the internet for info. What info was given to the public and to Gov was also prominently posted on the Internet. .Bvislanders need to grow up and become responsible for their lives. Worse than this will befall us if they are waiting to be spoon fed. This is the age of info. Everything u need to know is at your finger tips. NO excuses please. It is unbecoming ,unattractive and painfully embarassing.

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