George Town’s hurricane supplies stores are rushing in more goods to cope with an expected heavy demand again this weekend.
Stores such as Cox’s Lumber, A. L. Thompson and Deals were inundated last week with people purchasing anything and everything from corrugated metal sheeting, plywood boards, flashlights, batteries and raincoats after warnings issued over Hurricane Dennis.
Although Dennis only caused some rain on Grand Cayman, residents are set for another bout of hurricane preparedness over the next couple days with Tropical Storm Emily potentially on her way.
Paul Tibbetts of Cox’s Lumber said: ‘We haven’t noticed any major increases in purchasing as yet this week, but we have large supplies on hand.
‘We have batteries and flashlights being air freighted in Thursday because we ran low on them after last week and although we do have stocks of sand bags, raincoats and other waterproofs, we sold quite a lot of them last week, so more are on the way.
‘Last week a lot of people took the storm threat seriously. It’s always the first one of the season that sees people taking precautions, but then again every storm is different and people react in different ways.
‘Whatever happens this weekend, if there is a storm coming, we will be there for the people,’ added Mr. Tibbetts.
Building materials suppliers Deals, adjacent to the Mango Tree on Shedden Road, said it was expecting another supply of plywood and lumber Friday after heavy sales last week.
However, their stock of flashlights is currently exhausted.
Batteries are also in short supply at A. L. Thompson’s Home Depot, although store manager Larry Thompson said: ‘There is no chance of us running out of plywood, but we are pretty low on flashlights and batteries right now.
‘Sound and Things, who is our main supplier of batteries on the Island, is completely out and there is a real shortage of D size batteries.
‘We have some orders going out for them, but they won’t be due in for some time yet,’ said Mr Thompson.’
Patrick Wang, manager of Sounds and Things said: ‘We have a shipment on the way which includes batteries, but it is not going to make it for the weekend. It will be next week before it arrives.’
On the plus side, Mr Thompson added: ‘We have two containers that we believe have been cleared down at the docks and we are hoping to get them up here as soon as possible.
‘They have a whole bunch of stuff such as sand bags, burners, grilles, coolers, in fact a good mix of all kinds of hurricane supplies in them.
‘People are ahead of the game now because a lot of them stocked up last week.
‘I would say people are definitely more alert to this kind of thing now.
‘We stay in touch with the National Hurricane Committee and they make recommendations on extra opening hours for us if necessary.’
Petrol stocks are also reported to be high at the Esso and Texaco terminals in George Town.
Alan Neesome of Esso said: ‘We have no problems with either diesel or gasoline. We have a shipment every couple of weeks.
‘The last one was on 30 June and we are expecting our next one on 21 July due to a delay caused by the current hurricane threat.
‘Our tanks are all at least a third full at the moment and we will be topping up our petrol stations around the island on Thursday and Friday,’ he said. ‘We will also be ensuring our terminal is secure and everything is tied down in readiness for any problems.
‘Our pipeline out to sea, which the tankers connect to, is also currently filled with water, as is our policy during hurricane season.
‘Normally it is filled with diesel to help prevent corrosion, but at this time of year we take this extra precaution.’
A spokesman at Texaco said: ‘There is no need for alarm among our customers. We have an inventory on fuel supplies and have a fairly good storage capacity.
‘We will be delivering to our petrol stations in time for the weekend.’