Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts has warned that many people are still unprepared for the hurricane season.
Speaking at the Project Ark Disaster Planning and Recovery Business Forum at the Grand Cayman Marriott, Mr. Tibbetts said: ‘The total impact of the damage caused by Hurricane Ivan is put at US$3.4 billion.
‘That’s bigger than anything that has previously hit the Caribbean.’
Project Ark is aimed at helping businesses get over the aftereffects of a hurricane such as Ivan.
The forum addressed how to combat the loss of important data and records which, if destroyed or lost, could bring a company to its knees.
‘Businesses that have lost their documents and records find that this causes uncertainty and instability as to where the company has come from and where it is going to,’ he said.
‘It also makes them susceptible to law suits, false claims and loss of business due to lack of consumer confidence.
‘That is why businesses in particular must be prepared for another Ivan-type disaster and take the necessary steps to ensure they can be up and running again effectively and quickly.’
The man with the plan as to how this should be achieved is Chris Nelson, marketing manager for Productive Business Solutions Ltd of Jamaica.
Mr. Nelson, who works for the company’s Xerox arm, said: ‘We have had three hurricanes going back down the years that have caused considerable damage to Jamaica.
‘There have also been several earthquakes including one just the other week that measured 5.2 on the Richter scale and caused some damage and destruction, so we know that the big one is overdue.
‘I cannot help but admire how you good people of Cayman have got things up and running after such a devastating hurricane as Ivan just over nine months ago.
‘But what I can say to you is that when God warned Noah of the Great Flood he advised him to build an Ark to carry and store things in so that when the flood subsided things would be able to get back to normal again.
‘In today’s technologically advanced world what we can do for the business world is give them digital archiving which will ensure that all essential records, data and information can be stored safely forever.’
Mr. Tibbetts added: ‘A strong emphasis should be put on hurricane preparedness. We have to be prepared. We cannot afford to experience this type of destruction again.
‘As it is we are all still struggling to recover, but we need to play our parts to ensure any damage we may incur in the future is minimal and not due to a lack of preparedness on our part.’
Donovan Ebanks, Chairman of the National Hurricane Committee, encouraged all those present to use the advice and facilities on hand at his base at the Glass House as they prepare for hurricane season.
‘There is no off season in this business.
‘We have to use our experience to improve our resilience. I would strongly recommend that everyone stays focused on that.’