Complete Cyclone Season Guide

Rédigé le 28/05/2024
Jujue LV

On Saint-Martin, the sun shines generously most of the year. However, between June 1 and November 30, we enter a period when the skies can be capricious. The hurricane season, though sometimes daunting, is a period that the residents of Saint-Martin know well. It's a time for preparation and vigilance, but it's also a time when the solidarity and resilience of our community shines through.

In this article, we'll explore together what hurricane season really means on Saint-Martin, how to prepare and how to maintain a strong community spirit even as the clouds gather on the horizon.

All about the hurricane season

The cyclone season in the Caribbean runs from June to November, with peak activity in September and October.

The terminology used can vary: the term “cyclone” is commonly used in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, while “hurricane” is preferred in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific.

Cyclones are characterized by extremely strong winds and heavy rainfall. At the center is the eye, an area less than 50 km in diameter, where conditions are relatively calm. Surrounding the eye is the eye wall, an enormous cloud mass 20 to 50 km wide, where weather conditions are at their most violent. At the periphery of the cyclone is a dense cloud mass of heavy rainfall, up to 500 km in diameter, organized in spiral bands that converge towards the center. These characteristics make cyclones one of nature's most formidable phenomena.

Tropical storms and hurricanes form thanks to the heat of ocean waters, which provides them with the necessary energy, as well as unstable air and weak winds aloft. These favorable conditions lead to the development of low-pressure systems, which can evolve into tropical storms and then hurricanes.

The increase in cyclonic activity in September and October is due to higher water temperatures and the increased likelihood of atmospheric phenomena, such as tropical waves, conducive to storm formation.


The hurricane season in Saint-Martin requires careful preparation to cope with potential tropical storms and hurricanes. Here are a few practical tips to help you prepare effectively:

Preparing an Emergency Kit

To face the hurricane season, it's essential to put together a well-stocked emergency kit containing all the essential supplies for several days in the event of an emergency. Here's what you should include in your kit:

· Drinking water: Plan on one gallon of water (about 3L) per person per day for at least three days.

· Non-perishable food: Choose foods that don't require refrigeration, such as canned goods, energy bars and dried fruit.

· Gas stove: Add a stove for cooking when needed, with enough gas cartridges. Choose a portable stove that's compact and easy to use.

· Cooler: Useful for storing perishable food, make sure you have ice packs.

· Medicines and first-aid kit: Store essential medicines and basic medical supplies, such as bandages, disinfectants and pain and fever relief.

· Flashlights and batteries: Bring spare flashlights and batteries, preferring dynamo or solar-powered models.

· Change of clothing and hygiene items: Include a change of clothing and personal hygiene items.

· Important documents: Gather copies of essential documents (IDs, insurance policies, birth certificates, passports) in a waterproof bag.

· Other useful items: Add multi-purpose tools, an emergency whistle, local maps and spare batteries.

Check your emergency kit regularly to make sure all supplies are up to date and in good condition, increasing your chances of staying safe during hurricane season.

Securing your home and outdoor assets

Before a storm arrives, identify outdoor items that are likely to be blown away, such as garden furniture, garbage cans and outdoor decorations. Secure them or bring them indoors to prevent damage. Identify vulnerable areas of your home, reinforce windows with shutters or wooden panels, and make sure doors are securely closed and locked.

Evacuation plan and information

To ensure your safety during hurricane season, it's crucial to plan your evacuation and stay informed about weather conditions.

· Familiarize yourself with the evacuation routes available in your area, and draw up an evacuation plan if necessary. Knowing in advance the safest routes to shelter or a safer area can be very useful.

· Follow weather reports and alerts issued by local authorities. Use reliable weather apps like Météo-France and NOAA Weather Radar Live on your smartphone or tablet to get real-time forecasts and important weather alerts. Also consult the official websites of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Météo France Antilles-Guyane for up-to-date information. Make sure you've also registered the emergency numbers of the Sécurité Civile ( and the Local Police ( in your emergency contacts.

By combining these preparedness and safety measures, you'll be better equipped to face the challenges of the hurricane season and protect your family from potential risks.

Local life during the hurricane season

During the hurricane season, daily life is subject to adjustments to adapt to extreme weather conditions. In the event of an alert, residents have to adapt their working hours and activities according to the weather forecast, which can sometimes necessitate the closure of businesses to ensure the safety of staff and customers. At such times, community solidarity becomes crucial, with residents supporting each other by offering help to neighbors, sharing resources and collaborating with local associations to provide assistance to those in need, thus strengthening social ties and community spirit despite the challenges faced.

The hurricane season on Saint-Martin represents a time when preparation, vigilance and solidarity are crucial to ensuring everyone's safety and well-being. By understanding the potential risks and taking preventive measures, residents can reduce the negative impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes.

What's more, by drawing on the strength of the community and offering mutual support, we can get through this difficult time together. By remaining prepared, informed and supportive, we are better equipped to face the hurricane season with resilience and determination.