Richard Branson urges British Virgin Islands residents to brace for Hurricane Jose as they recover from Irma
The business magnate said he's "urging everyone to get prepared."
By JOI-MARIE MCKENZIE
September 10, 2017, 6:19 PM
• 4 min read
-- Richard Branson is urging everyone in the British Virgin Islands to "get prepared" for Hurricane Jose, even as the islands are recovering from Hurricane Irma.
The billionaire business magnate decided to hunker down as Hurricane Irma passed over his privately owned Necker Island this week. According to the National Hurricane Center, the hurricane was a rare Category 5 storm when it hit the Caribbean.
Now Branson, who referred to Hurricane Irma as "the storm of the century" in an update on his website Friday, warned, "but another one is coming."
"We are hopeful Hurricane Jose will not hit the BVI as hard as Hurricane Irma did, but [we're] urging everyone to get prepared and helping with supplies where we can," he wrote.
Hurricane Jose was upgraded to a Category 4 storm Friday, bringing 150 mph winds, approaching St. Martin and Barbuda. The hurricane is expected to get close to the Leeland Islands, but not to directly hit them. A tropical storm watch was in effect for the British Virgin Islands as of Saturday morning. Jose is not currently a threat to the U.S.
"In the meantime, our focus is on making sure people are safe, have shelter, food and water," Branson, 67, added.
The business magnate promised "to keep you all updated" on recovery from the hurricane on the island, which he noted is still without power. Branson said he's using "a satellite phone" to give updates.
He added, "Hopefully electricity will return soon and more people can get in touch with loved ones. Sending love from everyone here to everyone supporting from afar, it is hugely appreciated."
Branson announced on Instagram Thursday that his company, Virgin Group, has donated to the British Red Cross "to help recovery." He added in an update Friday, posted to his website, that he and his team also traveled to Virgin Gorda "to do everything we can to help the community."
"There is a huge amount of damage to buildings, but fortunately everyone we have seen so far has been ok," he wrote.