Today’s Editorial July 13: Hurricane plan addresses urgent needs

It seems that Hurricane Ivan was more than just a great equalizer of people.

The storm was also a great educator.

From it Government leaders gleaned much information, which has helped them come up with a new national hurricane plan.

The plan was revealed at two separate functions Monday and Tuesday.

We are told that under the new plan the United Kingdom will be faster in providing aid to the Cayman Islands in the event of a disaster.

After Hurricane Ivan left its path of destruction in September 2004, islanders waited for days for assistance from the Mother Country.

The new plan also sets up the National Emergency Management Agency, which will have the strength to revise legislation to better help the Cayman Islands cope from devastating hurricanes or any other disaster.

New laws the agency will consider may include revamping ports to increase seaside setbacks and officially designating flood prone zones.

The plan will also ensure that those who serve in the police force will be readily available to help keep the peace and stop looting after a disaster.

The Royal Cayman Island Police Services was stymied after Hurricane Ivan because staff members were not willing to leave their families to risk life and limb.

The new plan will keep the families together in a safe place so the officers can do their jobs with confidence their families’ are OK.

Communication is also addressed in the new plan, from ensuring that all media – both local and overseas – receives timely and pertinent information to share with the public to a high tech communication bridge between the main operations centres at Citrus Grove and the Emergency Operations Centre.

One of the great things about the new hurricane plan is that it is fluid. Government will continue to modify and improve on it as we meet new challenges and learn new lessons in the future.

Now that Government has devised and implemented its own hurricane plan, it’s time for all of us to make sure we have one too.

Hurricane plans should be in place and distributed at every business on the island.

And everyone living in the Cayman Islands should have their own hurricane plans for their homes and families. Everyone in the families should know the details of the plan and be able to act at a minute’s notice.

If you’re not prepared for this hurricane season, which we are in, you should be.