Trinity Houston weathers Hurricane Irma

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Trinity Houston, executive producer of the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema and founder of IM3Global.
Photo courtesy Trinity Houston

The past eight weeks will never be forgotten. While we may not recall details or even trends during September 2015 or September 1995, September 2017 saw two major earthquakes in Mexico, several category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the Caribbean, which landed onshore, and a mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Trinity Houston, executive producer of the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema, experienced and endured Hurricane Irma as it pummeled Sint Maarten. (The island known as St. Martin in English is divided between French Saint-Martin and Dutch Sint Maarten.)

More importantly, not only did she live through it, but thousands of others survived because of her actions before, during and after the Category 5 hurricane passed over the tiny Caribbean Island.

This is the first of three parts describing the ordeal Houston encountered, and the actions she took that helped so many.

Trinity Houston is a media management consultant. One of her major clients is Royal Resorts of Cancun. This resort manager also owns Simpson Bay Resort on Sint Maarten.

She had been working at Simpson Bay for about five to six weeks before the warning in early September that Hurricane Irma’s path would pass over the island. She had tickets to depart on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Slightly worried about the impending Category 5 hurricane, Houston, who already had first-hand knowledge of another Category 5 hurricane when Wilma passed over Cancun in 2005, wanted to depart.

On Sept. 1, the local resort management held a meeting to discuss preparations for the approaching hurricane. Houston attended and was asked for advice from her previous experience.

“I suggested they board the windows, pull down all outdoor signs and anything else that might fly in the winds,” she said. In the Caribbean and Mexico, inhabitants and officials generally know what to do when a hurricane threatens. “It is like earthquake preparation here,” she said.

On Sept. 2, Houston investigated the possibility of getting tickets on an earlier flight since Irma’s arrival was forecast for Thursday, Sept. 7. “But flights were booking up to get off the island,” she lamented.

With no expectation of any early departure, the resort asked if she would stay and help with preparations. No senior management was available at the time and the local staff wanted someone who knew what to expect. “But I worried a little since I have been in a 5 before, but it was on the mainland not an island,” she said. “It’s a hurricane, that’s still disturbing.”

Houston explained to the staff that preparing to withstand and survive the winds and rains was only the first step. The island will be damaged and services will be severely limited. “We’ll need a plan to get people out after the hurricane,” she advised. “Normally, with the electricity out, especially at an airport, airlines won’t be coming in soon.”

From Saturday to Tuesday, the days passed quickly because there were so many tasks to accomplish as everyone began to prepare for the hurricane’s arrival, Houston said. After Irma moved on, time slowed dramatically from Thursday until Saturday as she tried to arranged for transportation off the island.

Over the preceding weekend and on Monday, she urged all the guests who were still resident to get food and water — enough for three to four days. Since the resort was also a time share, many were in rooms with kitchens. These guests would not have to depend upon the resort food supplies.

Using her video skills, Houston created messages — red and yellow — for the guests’ in-hotel network and a video about securing rooms. “But outside it was still beautiful, no clouds,” she said. The internal network functioned until the hurricane was over them.

By Tuesday, the winds began to appear and grew stronger. The resort occupants settled into their rooms. Bathrooms were considered secure, away from possible broken winds.

On Sept. 6, Irma’s winds were clocked at 185 miles per hour. A Category 5 hurricane is designated when wind speed reaches 155 mph. It was the strongest hurricane of 2017. Irma caused catastrophic damage. According to news reports, as of Sept. 30, 132 people died from the hurricane, including four in Sint Maarten.

Part 2 will appear in the Oct. 19 edition of the Town Crier.

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  1. Hello Trinity Houston. You are a real deal. Proud of what you did . I am sure you helped a lot of people. My OnNowTV.com sold for 10 million to Public Company stock ,but I kept the patents just gave them a licensee from US1.tv that is now the creator of issuing webChannel numbers and licensing Networks to function just like Broadcast TV Stations of NBC,CBS, ABC, Fox etc. Do all over the country. We are getting ready to start licensing network. Would Love to work with you on what you have with your show. We will start this system come Oct 9, 2017 or between extended to Feb 7,2018 at the latest. WebChannel(R)s are going to be free for basic system. Networks start at $495. per month with unlimited webChannel. We suggest a network should charge $99.00 per month or what ever they want. If you changed $100 and put 30% toward marketing you would have effect budget of $3,000. that is a 30 to 1 on a webChannel return on investment. Which is a great deal for each member. Our studies show that in addition the associated business compounds all traffic from each of the member brings a minimum of three times more traffic then they would have gotten if they would only advertising by themselves. The method triples the effect since they are in a network of associate business and helps all bring in more viewers creating more sales. Its really a win win situation that makes Networks very profitability for the people that get on board early. I would love to have you and anyone that offers a good network service that can be seen over the internet watching videos. In addition our videos while being watched can be used as a way to communicate directly with the person on the video or the company personally that is able to answer and respond to all your questions or requirement needed since each video has a channel number we can always know exactly all parties know what the subject matter is. – Contact me at 405-721-2220 or tom@US1.tv
    You may remember I was trying to get Royal Resorts in Cancun to use. Got Patent on the webChannel(R) Search Operating system that use like TV channel identifier to Search for video/media digital webpages of things on the first click with out the need to search again . Basically we organize the Internet.

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