Invest 94 is lurking in the east of the Lesser Antilles.
It was suspected to become a tropical depression late yesterday or this morning.
While the forming system is thousands of miles away from the Cayman Islands, it should give us a reason to pause and do a run through of the viability of our hurricane plans – both at home and in our businesses – and to take stock of the hurricane supplies we have on hand.
While we haven’t seen too much activity so far this hurricane season, Bermuda was experiencing the pounding rains of Tropical Storm Bertha yesterday.
The scary thing about Bertha is that when it became a hurricane more than a week ago it was the first major storm to form so far east in the Atlantic Basin this early in the year. And it’s been hanging around for quite some time, only being downgraded to a tropical storm on Sunday.
Bertha was the first hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season.
She won’t likely be the last.
As we watch Invest 94 to see if it’s going to form into a storm and where its winds will take it, we are reminded that tropical storms and hurricanes are fickle despite all of the predictions and projections meteorologists the world over make.
A computer model at weatherunderground.com has Invest 94 headed straight south of Jamaica, pretty much in the same path as Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
That storm made most of us in the Cayman Islands realise just how unprepared we were for a major hurricane.
Many residents still haven’t recovered from Ivan, which left more than 90 per cent of the structures on Grand Cayman severely damaged.
Those of us who were in the Cayman Islands in August last year remember the threat Hurricane Dean made to us.
While we were spared the brunt of Dean’s wrath we did find out that as a whole we were bettered prepared.
There were still some problems, though.
After Dean passed we implored Government to address the issue of lousy equipment at Radio Cayman. Our leaders complied and the issue of new and updated equipment has been addressed.
The equipment – along with a new generator – is being upgraded now and a new transmitter for 89.9 is on its way to Grand Cayman.
That is refreshing as Radio Cayman will be the Government’s primary conduit to get relevant information out to the public during a weather emergency. The Caymanian Compass will also keep readers updated during any weather emergency on our website at www.caycompass.com
We also learned during Dean that we still have issues with the Savannah Gully.
This is a matter that has been addressed, but nothing concrete has been done to stop the flooding of the main thoroughfare there.
When the Savannah Gully floods it essentially cuts the eastern districts off from George Town and West Bay, which in turn hurts commerce.
We had hoped that there would be a viable solution to the gully problem before this hurricane season began.
We can all take advantage of a lull in storm activity to make sure our hurricane supplies are properly stocked and our hurricane plans in place.
For more information on what to do before, during and after a storm, pick up the Cayman Free Press Hurricane Special Supplement 2008 from our office on Shedden Road or look for it at www.caycompass.com