Be prepared

Be prepared, and be aware and there should be no need to panic.

That’s essentially the message to Cayman from National Hurricane Committe chairman Donovan Ebanks as fear of another hurricane strike seems to be gripping some people.

‘It’s natural for us to be more aware with the experience that we have from last year. But no one’s blood pressure should be going sky high,’ says Mr. Ebanks.

‘It is a good thing that we have a new appreciation for these weather systems.

‘That is a good and natural by-product of what we went though,’ he says.

For too long people had expected hurricanes to pass them by and strike somewhere else, he feels.

‘We now know what we can expect even in the worst of situations,’ says Mr. Ebanks.

‘Knowing what we can expect in the worst of situations and with the knowledge we have, none of us should find ourselves worse prepared than we were last September,’ he says.

‘I think there is a lot for us to feel confident about. We know for instance that we have adequate supplies of fuel and food on the island,’ he adds.

People need to look after their own personal responsibilities, says Mr. Ebanks.

‘If we take care of those things that are within our capability by giving them priority and putting aside time to take care of them, there’s no reason why we should be panicking,’ he says.

There are many more people with generators than before and these need to be tested and checked ahead of time, he says.

But one of the things he does caution against is people storing substantial amounts of petrol.

‘One of our greatest assets is the experience that probably 95% of the population has had,’ says Mr. Ebanks.

‘That experience and that knowledge of what we can expect and need to do to survive is invaluable,’ he adds.

‘It is possibly unique for a community to have such a high percentage of its people who have the fresh experience and knowledge gained from an event of such high severity and rare occurrence as this storm,’ says Mr. Ebanks

‘In most societies you would find that less than 10% of the population would have the experience of what is probably such a once in a lifetime experience,’ he says.

The flooding experience washe says, one of the most unexpected and horrifying elements that the country experienced.

But if no one drowned on that occasion and in those circumstances, there was no reason now, armed with the experience and knowledge gained, that anyone should lose his life if similar circumstances were to arise.

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