Today’s Editorial March 12: Drills help us better prepare

Disaster struck Grand Cayman Monday when a private jet carrying 39 people and 10 gallons of formaldehyde crashed near the Spotts Dock on Shamrock Road.

Or so that’s what many people were led to believe.

There was no private plane carrying formaldehyde and 39 people and it didn’t crash. Thank God.

What many people traversing Shamrock Road saw Monday was a mock disaster drill.

The people being led away in stretchers were students from Triple C school and the Cadet Corps who were covered in fake blood and sporting fake injuries.

The emergency exercise involving an airplane is required under international regulations every two years.

Because the drills are mocking a real disaster, officials have to keep as much information about the drills out of the public domain as possible.

By doing so, that same public is usually inconvenienced.

But what a small price to pay to be assured that our emergency responders are well trained to act on any emergency.

The Cayman Islands has been lucky in that we have had few airplane mishaps.

And those that have occurred have been minor.

While accidents and disasters do happen – look at Hurricane Ivan in 2004 – we must do all we can to make sure we are prepared.

Lessons were learned in Monday’s exercise, mental and physical notes made and those who participated will go back and tweak what went wrong and enforce what went well.

While we can’t plan for every disaster or emergency, we can make sure that we know how to react under real circumstances.

We all need to make sure we have proper hurricane disaster plans in our homes and businesses.

While it seems like the 2007 Hurricane Season just ended – we did have that freak threat in December – the 2008 season is only two-and-a-half months away.

Government will hold a hurricane disaster drill as time gets nearer, but we should all begin now while the weather is nice to start putting our hurricane preparation plans in place.

While man has set aside 1 June to 31 November as hurricane season, Mother Nature doesn’t own a calendar. Storms can and do pop up before the season begins and after it ends.

Disasters can strike us at any time, in any form.

Be prepared.

BREAKOUT

Lessons were learned in Monday’s exercise, mental and physical notes made and those who participated will go back and tweak what went wrong and enforce what went well.

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