Shelter wardens on the job

When Hurricane Dennis was expected to affect Cayman, Ms Babry Dale Hurlston began her duties as North Side shelter warden at 2.30pm on Thursday.

The first task was to meet with the Environmental Health officer to check the cistern at the Cradock Ebanks Civic Centre – North Side’s designated shelter. The amount of water available and the chlorine level were confirmed.

Then there were supplies to verify and a work station to set up. Ms Hurlston opened the shelter at 6.05 pm.

By the time the National Hurricane Committee discontinued the hurricane warning on Friday morning, she had logged in zero ‘shelterees’.

But that did not mean the log book was empty.

District MLA Edna Moyle checked to see if the shelter needed anything and stayed awhile.

Red Cross workers Roger Brown and Sanuia Henry reported for duty at 7pm.

During the evening, the EMT from the nearby health clinic/ambulance station walked over to make sure everybody was all right. Two police officers on their rounds stopped in several times to see that everything was secure.

Ms Alex Johnson, who served as deputy warden for the three weeks of Hurricane Ivan, came for several hours.

She was accompanied by Ms Beatrice Chisholm, who had helped with the cooking and cleaning up at the shelter during the Ivan stint. Thursday was her birthday and she chose to observe it by visiting with shelter colleagues.

Ms Hurlston noted the heavy lightning and thunder Thursday night, with rain around 1am on Friday.

She, Mr. Brown and Ms Henry decided to get some rest around 1.30am. There were no incidents through the night.

When the hurricane warning was discontinued for Grand Cayman, the Red Cross workers left. The NHC directed shelter wardens to stand by.

According to Government Information Services, Grand Cayman shelters were closed at noon on Friday.

By that time, the NHC Essential Relief Services sub-committee reported just three people taking shelter in Grand Cayman: two in Bodden Town and one in East End.

In Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, shelters were to be closed later on Friday when all persons who had sought refuge returned to their homes.

All residents in the three Islands could find reassurance in the fact that every district had a shelter staffed and ready for the storm.

Ready for Dennis

All shelter wardens were on emergency standby for three days, according to information supplied by the NHC Emergency Relief Services sub-committee.

Wardens were to remain available Friday night and into Saturday in case flooding issues necessitated the reopening of any shelters.

Those who worked during the period 6pm Thursday until midday Friday were:

North Side Civic Centre: Babry Dale Hurlston; Edna Moyle; Alex Johnson

East End Civic Centre: Delmira Kirchman Bodden; Egbert Jackson; Edney McLean

Bodden Town Primary School Hall: Charles Powell; Lincoln Robinson; Flavia Gardner; Franklyn Brown

West Bay Primary School Hall: Edgar Mendez; Laura Johnson; Dwene Ebanks; Jeana Ebanks

Four staff from the Department of Children and Family Services worked until 10pm Thursday to do final checks and ensure everything was in place at the shelters: Jose Kirchman, Paulette Rhoden, Gail Ebanks and Lelieth Welcome.

Essential Relief Services Sub-Committee personnel: Deanna Look Loy; Debbie Webb; Alphonso Wright. Leanora Wynter and Jen Dixon manned phones and shelter radios for support as needed.

The Red Cross headquarters served as a shelter in George Town. Director Jondo Obi supplied the names of persons who served there and in the districts.

George Town: Herser Hyde, Sheryl Perez and Elizabeth Stewart

North Side: Roger Brown and Saunia Henry

East End: Barry Jones and Sandra Miller

Bodden Town: Chelsea Blair, Dr Louise Malcolm and Maggie Coe

WB: Sherlene Schmid and Sonia Campbell.

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