That’s the estimated time it’s going to take the Cayman Islands to totally recover from Hurricane Ivan.
It sounds like a long time, but we’ve already gotten almost one year under our belts.
And things have improved, just take a look around.
But take that look with a wary eye.
As much as has been improved, much more needs to be done.
Yes, houses have been re-roofed, but there are many that still sport tarpaulins or worse, gaping holes.
Yes, debris has been removed from the sides of most roads, but many yards are filled with rotting furniture or construction debris.
Yes, most businesses are back up and running – many at full speed – but many smaller businesses may not ever see their doors reopened because of a lack of money, facilities, determination or will.
Today we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of another hurricane season and this one is even more active than last year’s.
While we are still in the recovery mode, there are things to be done to make sure we remain safe if another devastating hurricane makes its way to our shores.
That debris that is still lingering along roadsides and in folks’ yards need to be picked up.
High winds can pick up anything not lashed down and turn it into a hurling weapon.
Neighbours must help neighbours; businesses must help businesses.
We’re faced with an increase in crime following Hurricane Ivan, but much is being done by the Royal Cayman Islands Police to tackle that problem.
It’s incumbent on us all to make sure that we come together as a community to not only make a difference, but to make that difference count.
We’ve got a long haul ahead of us, but with the Cayman spirit that still thrives in us all we can get through this and look back to these times five years from now and take comfort that we pulled together and made the Cayman Islands a better place than it was before September 2004.