Ocho Rios, JAMAICA – As Hurricane Matthew continues on a path towards Jamaica and Haiti, resorts in the Caribbean are taking precautions.
The Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, a property managed by Hilton Hotels, began holding daily briefings on Saturday to inform guests about the precautions the management team was taking ahead of the Category 4 hurricane.
The several hundred guests were told that the hotel would centralize food services and suspend all outdoor activities, should the storm hold its intensity as it reached the Ocho Rios area.
Managers assured guests the resort was structurally sound for the storm but they should move to interior parts of their rooms away from windows when Matthew makes landfall.
Trucks arrived late Saturday afternoon filled with sheets of plywood to board up windows as an additional precaution.
Vacationers from the United States, England, and Canada all shared a similar message when asked about their level of concern for the storm. It was described as an annoyance for their tropical vacation but there was not a high level of anxiety.
“No, I think the staff at the resort are well prepared to ensure we are safe,” Cody Stepp said. “They are well educated on what to do to ensure our safety.”
Stepp is vacationing from Missouri at the resort and scheduled to fly out Monday.
The latest projections from the National Hurricane Center show Matthew maintaining intensity as it reaches Jamaica. It could be particularly damaging in Kingston, the country’s capital located on the southern shore.
The United States Embassy in Kingston closed for Consular Services on Monday and Tuesday ahead of the anticipated storms.
The airport in Kingston has already seen a spike in cancelled flights. The country’s other international airport, Sangster International Airport, is located in Montego Bay on the northern part of the island. Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines have cancelled their
flights into Montego Bay but other U.S. carriers, such as Delta, still have flights scheduled for normal routes.
For the latest from Jamaica as Hurricane Matthew makes landfall, follow @chasesnider on Twitter.