Keeping calm

No mad shopping rush for TS Don

There was very much of an atmosphere of calm among Barbadians Tuesday, despite the overcast skies and occasional showers associated with Tropical Storm Don.

The signs of calm were everywhere, even before the Barbados Meteorological Services discontinued the tropical storm watch as of 2 p.m.

Missing Tuesday was the mad rush for storm supplies or the haste to batten down the hatches.

In fact, at the Bridgetown Fishing Complex where the several fishing boats from the south of the island were docked, the criticism was that the watch came too late, although the boat owners had been securing their vessels throughout the night and into the morning.

Anthony Brathwaite, a fisherman of 40 years, complained that large fishing fleets had left yesterday, only to hurriedly return to shore this morning after the announcement was made.    

“There were boats that left yesterday not knowing about this weather and when they got out there [to sea] they had to come back in this morning. That is not good enough,” he said.

However, Brathwaite was not deterred by the cloudy skies, as he was confident that Tropical Storm Don, which was only 35 miles out at the time, was not a threat and that fisherman were just waiting for the all clear.

“The storm is a small storm and the circumference isn’t big . . . . It can’t reach in here. . . . I don’t think we’re going to feel the effect much,” Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY.

As a fisherman who has survived three tropical storms and a tropical depression, he was neither worried nor alarmed about the increased hurricane activity expected for the season.

When the Barbados TODAY team visited People’s Market yesterday morning a handful of persons popped in to pick up food supplies.

“There is nothing now to frighten me. I went out there [to sea] for 28 days, had 14 days without water and food and I wasn’t scared,” he disclosed.

With the fisherfolk adopting a wait and see approach, the attention turned to the supermarkets where, for the most part, the situation was similar.     

Store Manager at Carlton A1 Supermarket Edwin Holder referred to it as a normal shopping day, as a few customers picked up odd items at the Black Rock, St Michael store.

“Bajans just wait and see. Not that they don’t prepare, but they are wising up to see what is happening and what can happen. They are just being cautious and just waiting to make sure what is really happening, then you will see the rush,” Holder said of the absence of the last-minute rush ahead of an impending storm.

“I believe that they wait until they really know for sure that something is going on then you will see a rush. They would pick up the last minute essentials no matter what the cost.”

Store manager of Carter’s General Store Alan Goodman

At Carter’s General Stores in Wildey, St Michael Store Manager Alan Goodman told Barbados TODAY Barbadians had learnt from their experiences and were educating themselves on hurricane preparedness.

Consequently, instead of a mad rush for items, shoppers were stocking up throughout the season, he said.

“We have discovered that Barbadians have been educating themselves and watching a lot more. Bajans are still taking their precautions. We haven’t seen any rush . . . . It depends on how serious and how strong the storm is. I think that is how Barbadians will react.”

Retired banker Granville Estwick has experienced his share of storms, and said he was always prepared for disasters.

Speaking from the check-out at People’s Market in Eagle Hall, St Michael, Estwick said he thought Barbadians did not live in fear of natural disasters.

Instead, they seemed more relaxed and prepared to wait out the storm, he said.

Seventy-one-year-old Velma Babb was of the view that Barbadians needed to be better prepared.

For 71-year-old Velma Babb, there was little sense in waiting until there was news of an approaching storm to go shopping.

She said it was much better to stock up in anticipation of the hurricane season.

“I don’t like that every year it comes and nothing happens and it passes us and go, people talk foolishness about they make them buy up this and they make them buy up that. I don’t think it calls for all of that, and I don’t think they should wait for anything to happen for them to go and shop . . . . I don’t feel that every year you hear about a hurricane you have to go and run and buy a lamp,” the senior citizen said.

7 Responses to Keeping calm

  1. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn July 19, 2017 at 5:04 am

    The meteorological services should be able to compensate all those people who went and spend foolish money to buy unnecessary things. Some times they make you spend your last dollar. We have to check and see if these people getting cut back from some of these businesses PLACES. Only in BARBADOS that they always giving people wrong information. A 100 mikes from BARBADOS. What effect that can have on BARBADOS. Some times the bad weather already passed BARBADOS. Hours after they now giving you the all clear. That is just my opinion. I know that some people will not agree with me.

  2. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes July 19, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Won’t they use said things later? Why compensate. Same thing here in North Carolina in the states in the winter with their storm predictions and not one flake

  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner July 19, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Guess they not taking any chances met office just covering they behinds and can’t blame them.

  4. Princess M R Charles
    Princess M R Charles July 19, 2017 at 7:17 am

    The met office only give predictions they are not God they warn us and keep an eye on it what if they didn’t say anything at all and we have a disaster you all would still blame them bajans are something else can’t please wanna

  5. Linda Fenty
    Linda Fenty July 19, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Here’s what you do Mr Benn after the all clear is given . You save you canned items like a sensible adult for next time when bad weather is approaching. So that every time we are told a storm is approaching you wouldn’t have to spend foolish money at the supermarket like all the other unprepared People do . Incase you haven’t been told , this is the hurricane season . So be prepared !

  6. Bonita Weekes
    Bonita Weekes July 19, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Utter nonsense, if I go and buy things that I will use, how does the met office have to compensate me. As a person who had the experience of what a category 4 hurricane is like, it pains me to read this foolishness all the time from big hard back people, when will they learn. The met office gives the information they have, they are not God, they cannot change the wind. They job is to warn us, if you don’t want to take precautions you DO NOT HAVE TO. In 2010 Tomas sneaked up on us because we did not get a lot of warning. One day one will come and find us unprepared, so instead of being so ungrateful be thankful. Every weather system I intend to take seriously because I well remember a hurricane named Hugo, that is something I have no desire to ho through again. All I can do is appeal to sensible people to pay attention, we can’t stop Storms or Hurricanes from happening but we can do things that will help to make things easier afterwards. People just think about rain and some wind but have absolutely no idea about what it does to you mentally. Tomas passed 100 miles north of Barbados and look how much damage some people suffered. Some people still haven’t gotten their houses fixed properly. This is a stupid debate year after year, I could understand children thinking that way but big hard back people that should have COMMON SENSE, it just shows that common sense isn’t so common after all. To the SENSIBLE ones take every precaution, I have had the experience so I know first hand what it is like.


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