Today’s Editorial for May 26: Hurricane season right around the corner

Five days.

That’s all we have left before Hurricane Season 2008 officially begins.

And from all accounts, this could be a doozy of a season.

Listen to some old timers and farmers on the island and they’ll tell you something is going to happen this season, they just don’t know what.

That’s the rub about any hurricane season; we never no exactly what to expect.

Even when we know there’s a storm brewing in the Caribbean, we can never be sure of where – or when – it’s going to hit.

Many of us who stayed on Grand Cayman as Hurricane Ivan was approaching in September 2004 went to bed Friday night thinking we would certainly begin to fell the effects of Ivan Saturday morning. But we thought the worst of it would be tropical storm-force winds up to 50 mph late in the afternoon.

But between Friday night and Saturday morning when Ivan was supposed to be crossing Jamaica, it started to wobble westward along that country’s southern coast, keeping its strongest winds out at sea.

Ivan also slowed down from 13 mph to just eight mph, meaning it would get to Cayman later than most of us thought.

Ivan was predicted to make a direct hit on the Sister Islands.

When those of us woke up Saturday morning we learned that conditions were going to be much worse than we had anticipated.

As the day progressed the news just got worse and the curious excitement many of us had turned into deep seated fear.

Most of us kept an ear to Radio Cayman where Jay Ehrhart and Joel Frances kept us all informed and told us not to leave wherever we were sheltered. We listened as callers to the station reported rising water and falling ceilings in their homes.

And then the airways went silent and we were left with 36 hours of a howling, screaming storm.

In the end 90 per cent of the buildings on Grand Cayman had been damaged – many destroyed.

It just goes to show that we never know exactly when or if a hurricane is going to hit us.

So it’s incumbent on us all to be prepared.

The Cayman Free Press 2008 Hurricane Supplement is scheduled to come out Thursday.

It will be inserted into the Caymanian Compass and will be available at the CFP office on Shedden Road.

In it readers will find what they need to do to prepare for a storm and what to do during and after a hurricane.

We encourage everyone to pick up a copy. It’s 56 pages of information that you need to know and it’s free.