Haiti better prepared for hurricane season, UN official says

Deputy Special Representative Nigel Fisher (left) and President Michel Martelly of Haiti discussing preparations for the 2011 hurricane season

2 June 2011 – Haiti is better prepared than it was last year to respond to the annual hurricane season, with emergency equipment and stocks pre-positioned in case of a disaster, a senior United Nations official says.

Nigel Fisher, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative to Haiti, told a press conference yesterday in Port-au-Prince that “we are far better off than last year,” especially in assessing the areas of the country most at risk.

The Caribbean nation is often beset by hurricanes, and in 2008 was devastated by four consecutive devastating storms within the space of a month.

Emergency preparations last year were hampered because the country was still reeling from the January 2010 earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people and displaced countless others.

But Mr. Fisher said the country was further advanced this year, having assessed available resources, pre-positioned stocks of relief supplies, identified temporary shelters and determined major risk areas.

“Financially, we still need $13 million to finish the work,” he said, referring to the preparations. Mr. Fisher added that the Haitian Government was working well with the international community to prepare for hurricanes this season.

Meteorologists have predicted the country could face nine hurricanes and 17 major storms in total this year.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN and partners responding to rising cholera cases in Haiti’s Ouest province

Related Stories

In-depth Interviews