Today’s Editorial May 23: Good, bad hurricane news

The good news is that the 2006 Hurricane Season isn’t predicted to be as bad as it was last year.

The bad news is that we could see between four and six major hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico this year.

Predictions are that there will be up to 16 named storms, which is quite a lot less than the 27 that set a record last year.

But face it; if just one hurricane hits where you live is enough to make any season bad.

Hurricane season is staring us down – it’s only 10 days away.

It was at about this time last year that we were all watching a rogue tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific that was dancing across to Central America. Tropical Storm Adrien was a freak of nature, not paying attention to the hurricane calendar.

Luckily its damage was limited to Central America and it posed no threat to the Cayman Islands, but it gave us all a wake up call to begin our preparations.

The Caymanian Compass Hurricane Guide is in the making and will be available in time to help prepare for this region’s hurricane season, which begins June 1.

In that guide you will be informed of how to protect your home and loved ones in the event of a hurricane.

You will be given a listing of hurricane supplies to have on hand and a listing of shelters should the need arise to evacuate.

Those of us who have called these islands home for many hurricane seasons know exactly what we should be doing to prepare for the hurricane season.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and you have to fight the crowds for the simple supplies of the season like plywood, candles, flashlights, batteries, canned goods and propane.

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

The Caymanian Compass urges everyone to get to stores to stock up on hurricane supplies, plywood, batteries and anything else that is needed to survive a storm.

Just because the National Hurricane Center is predicting a better season than last year, it’s not time to rest.

Fortunately the Atlantic is not as warm as it was at this stage in 2005. Warm water is a key fuel factor for hurricane development.

And it looks like the El Nino and La Nina water conditions won’t have any impact on our hurricane season this year.

While the news sounds good, don’t be fooled.

Experts say the world is in the midst of a 20-year-cycle that will continue to bring strong storms.

Hurricanes don’t have to be dead-heading to the Cayman Islands to cause damage.

Hurricanes are not just the line of their predicted path, but a wide area of destruction.

We live in an area of the world where the threat of hurricanes is a fact of life.

Our main mission when faced with a hurricane is to protect life, and we can do that by preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

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