Where do you want to spend the next hurricane – in your secure home or in a shelter?
We hope your answer is in your secure home.
It appears more people stayed in their homes as Hurricane Dean was passing by the Cayman Islands instead of going to shelters.
Our census of shelter spaces is not up to the amount we had prior to Hurricane Ivan and we agree that more shelters do need to be built to replace those damaged in 2004, especially in Bodden Town.
But building numerous shelters is not the answer to surviving major storms.
Having stronger, secure homes is the answer.
There are many reasons to shutter and make secure your own home.
Burglars broke into vacated homes and buildings just before and just after Hurricane Dean. Had the residents been home they probably could have protected their property.
If water does creep into your home during a storm and you are there, you can get it out and begin cleanup sooner.
By staying home in a secure abode during a major storm you are able to take care of yourself and your family; you’re not bound by rules and regulations at a shelter filled with strangers.
If you leave your home during a storm and travel to a shelter, there is no guarantee when you’ll be able to get back to your property.
Shelters are certainly necessary, especially for those who don’t have strong, secure storms or those who live in storm surge areas.
Shelters are not always the safest place though.
Remember that during Hurricane Ivan evacuees at the Bodden Town shelter had to leave and find refuge elsewhere as high winds and surf damaged the shelter.
That’s all the more reason to make your own home as secure as possible.
We do believe there are stronger houses on Grand Cayman since Hurricane Ivan took away many of the weaker ones.
It’s now up to Government to enact legislation that would ensure any future homes be built not only up to code, but with stronger windows and doors and a provision for shutters.
Will it cost more to build? You bet.
But in passing the legislation it is hoped that Government will lower duty or even waive it for hurricane-rated doors, windows and shutter materials.
We have to make our structures in the Cayman Islands stronger, but we do need an assist from Government.