Shelters ready

For those who will evacuate their homes due to Hurricane Emily, the government has 18 shelters set up throughout the Cayman Islands, although it will not be known which ones will open until late Friday or early Saturday.

In addition, there are eight emergency medical centres available to provide shelter for chronically ill persons, the elderly and women in the last trimester of pregnancy. On hand at these centres will be medical personnel and equipment.

In total, the shelters and the emergency medical centres can accommodate 4,670 people.

Deanna Look Loy, chairman, Essential Relief Services Subcommittee of the National Hurricane Committee, said the shelters are ready to be used.

‘We worked very hard over the months to get them ready,’ she said. ‘We had people a week ago, before Dennis, purchasing and transporting essential, basic supplies to the shelters.’

As of press time, it is unknown how many or which of Cayman’s shelters would open to the public.

The decision to open the shelters will be made by the National Hurricane Committee once the severity of Emily’s threat is determined, chairman Donovan Ebanks said.

‘We’ll probably make that decision late Friday or early Saturday,’ he said.

The public should listen to the radio for updates about shelter openings, Mr. Ebanks said.

The following buildings are the approved government shelters:

Grand Cayman

• John Gray High School Assembly Hall

• George Hicks High School Multipurpose Hall

• George Town Primary School Assembly Hall

• Community College of the Cayman Islands Hall

• Red Cross Building

• Prospect Primary School

• John A. Cumber Primary School Assembly Hall

• John A. Cumber Primary School – some classrooms

• East End Primary School

• Gun Bay Community Hall

• East End Civic Centre (Emergency Medical Centre and public shelter)

• North Side Civic Centre (EMC and public shelter)

• Breakers Community Hall

• Bodden Town Primary School Multipurpose Hall (EMC and public shelter)

• Savannah Primary School Assembly Hall (EMC and public shelter)

Cayman Brac

• Ashton Rutty Centre (EMC & public shelter)

• West End Primary School

Little Cayman

• The Public Works Department Building (EMC and public shelter)

Emergency medical centres

• Nurses Health Centre, West Bay (EMC only)

• Prospect Primary School (EMC and public shelter)

• East End Civic Centre (EMC and public shelter)

• North Side Civic Centre (EMC and public shelter)

• Bodden Town Primary School Multipurpose Hall (EMC and public shelter)

• Savannah Primary School Assembly Hall (EMC and public shelter)

• Cayman Brac’s Ashton Rutty Centre (EMC & public shelter)

• Little Cayman’s Public Works Department Building (EMC and public shelter)

Shelter Tips

Although shelters will never turn anyone away, people are reminded that public shelters should always be a last option. Space is very limited and conditions can be austere. Shelters are not required to provide you with any comforts other than a roof over your head, and because you could end up staying there for a number of days, it is essential to prepare a shelter supply kit.

Do not take pets, firearms, illegal drugs or alcohol, stoves or furniture. Large items such as cots or air mattresses may not be allowed because of limited space.

Shelter Supply Kit:

• Ready to eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.

• Can opener

• One gallon of water per person per day (figure for 72 hours)

• Canned juices, milk and soup.

• First Aid kit that includes prescription medications.

• Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

• Sanitation supplies.

• Baby wipes, if applicable

• Paper towels.

• Special needs items for infants (diapers, bottles, formula and sterilizing tablets)

• Special needs items for the elderly or disabled family members.

• Bedding (cot, sleeping bags, pillows, blow-up mattresses).

• A change of clothes.

• Extra set of car keys, credit cards and cash.

• Keep your passport and important family papers in a water-proof container.

• Reading materials and quiet games to help you pass the time and keep children occupied.

• Folding chairs.

• Car charger for your cell phone

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