Today’s Editorial March 23: Take advantage of calm weather

Reading the headline at the bottom of the front page of the Caymanian Compass yesterday could give some a reason to exhale and let down their guard.

But don’t do it.

The story was based on a prediction from private US-based weather forecaster AccuWeather.com, which predicts another busy hurricane season.

Their prediction has been tweaked, though. The meteorologists at AccuWeather.com warn those who live along the Northeast Coast of the United States to brace for strong storms and a hectic hurricane season.

Their warning is that a major hurricane could strike the Northeast and cause the worst natural disaster in the United States.

If you recall, Hurricane Katrina did a pretty good job on the United States last year.

The Gulf Coastal region of the US is still reeling from that storm and Rita, which came at the heels of Katrina.

We experienced our own worst storm in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan slammed into Grand Cayman and left our Sister Islands injured.

Too soon to be talking about hurricanes?

Never.

The 2006 Hurricane Season doesn’t officially begin until 1 June, but many of us will remember that the 2005 season got a jump start when Hurricane Arlene formed early last year.

Hurricane season is just 70 days away, which should give us all time to take stock of our hurricane supplies.

Don’t wait until the last minute when just about everyone will be scrambling for hurricane supplies, which may at that time be in short supply.

Those who wait until the deadline to prepare for a storm are doing themselves and others on the islands an injustice. They’re clogging roadways and keeping others from getting home to batten down and wait.

People should know by now whether they can ride out a storm at home or if they will have to move to shelter. Know where to go, when, the best route to get there and what you can and can’t take.

Practice securing your homes and businesses so you’ll know down to the minute how long it will take if a storm approaches the Cayman Islands. Employers will need to remember that their workers will need time to prepare their homes and plan for it.

Anyone who does not have a hurricane plan should take these days of calm to plan one.

If you’re new to the area, get hurricane preparedness information from the Government or from the media. Cayman Free Press produces a handy hurricane information guide each year and copies are available at the offices on Shedden Road. Talk to people who have grown up here and lived through various hurricane seasons to get a better idea of what to expect.

We don’t know what the 2006 season is going to bring, but it’s better to be prepared for the worst.

Do it now, before it’s too late.

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