Today’s Editorial August 14: Fickle storms hard to predict

While hurricanes can be difficult to predict, we can say one thing for sure.

They’re fickle.

As we monitor Tropical Depression 4 it is picking up speed and leaving us guessing what will become of it.

As of mid-day yesterday the maximum sustained winds were near 35 miles an hour with higher gusts. TD4 was being predicted to turn into a tropical storm by mid-day today.

We can’t help but be reminded of Hurricane Ivan that got our attention when it was whirling away in the Atlantic picking up steam.

Most of us initially didn’t give Ivan a second thought.

Most of us were still chuckling over the chaotic preparations for Hurricane Charley being much ado about nothing.

As Ivan got closer to the Cayman Islands, tracking showed it would pass north of the Sister Islands. Those of us on Grand Cayman were calm Friday night, anticipating tropical storm-force winds of about 50mph on Saturday.

But then Ivan wobbled and slowed down.

Ivan was a perfect reminder that we can’t predict exactly what a hurricane is going to do or when it’s going to hit.

Who knows, TD4 may turn into nothing but a rain event in the Atlantic.

Or it could become a forceful hurricane bringing with it deadly winds and high surf.

The problem is, we just don’t know.

So take the time now to prepare for the worst.

Same song, second verse?

You bet, but we’ll keep singing it every hurricane season until everyone gets it through their heads that they have to be prepared.

And being prepared is about more than just having enough water, non-perishable food and prescription medications on hand.

It’s also about having a workable plan for both your family and your business.

If you’re new to the island, talk to someone who went through Hurricane Ivan.

If that doesn’t make you a believer out of being prepared, you probably don’t need to be living on a Caribbean island.

Not sure what to do before, during and after a storm?

Cayman Free Press can help.

Stop by our offices on Shedden Road and pick up a copy of the 2007 Hurricane Supplement or go online to www.caycompass.com and look for the yellow buttons on the left, under the heading ‘Enjoy other Cayman Free Press products.’ It’s right there on top.

In the meantime we’ll continue to monitor TD4 and let you know via our printed newspaper and our website what you can expect, no matter how fickle any storm gets.

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