Outlets prepare for hurricane

Hotels and stores throughout Cayman were making preparations for Hurricane Gustav Tuesday.

Management and staff of Foster’s held a hurricane preparedness meeting Tuesday morning.

General Manager Woody Foster said: ‘It’s too early to be discussing things like opening hours, but we’ll be discussing logistics in terms of getting the back of the house cleaned up, generators topped up and trucks topped up,’ he said.

Mr. Foster added that while there was nothing the store could do about imported goods, his staff would be talking to local suppliers about increasing supplies.

Raul Mena, store manager of Hurley’s at Grand Harbour, said the store had started basic preparations and ensuring that it was fully stocked with hurricane supplies and water. ‘There are a few people who have come in already to avoid the rush, getting water and supplies,’ he said.

Kirk’s had hurricane supplies ready for customers, but general manager Renrick Christian said it was too early to see any big demand Tuesday morning as no hurricane alert had been issued.

At Uncle Bill’s Home Improvement Centre, shoppers were already making hurricane purchases, according to manager Rich Slater. ‘We’re already seeing people getting their batteries and flashlights and stoves,’ he said. One shopper even helped himself to a stove before being stopped by a security guard, Mr. Slater said.

Meanwhile, local hotels were closely tracking the storm and making related preparations.

At Little Cayman Beach Resort General Manager Jason Belport said: ‘Right now we’re tracking the storm very closely. We’re suspending diving activities from this afternoon so that guests will be able to fly tomorrow morning.’

The hotel is advising guests to leave, he said, and they are cancelling incoming reservations.

General Manager of Comfort Suites Ken Thompson said the hotel was waiting on an update from Hazard Management Cayman Islands to see whether the Cayman Islands would be under a watch, warning or whether evacuation was needed and they would then act accordingly.

‘We’re already preparing and taking precautions, but until we get more information we can’t do much,’ he said.

Once they have more information from the local authorities they would go from there and advise guests on their cancellation policy, he said.

At the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, director of sales and marketing Carolina Voullieme said: ‘Due to the uncertainty of the hurricane, we are advising our guests to delay their arrivals or do an earlier departure.

‘The management team is in constant contact with local authorities and is monitoring information from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Centre. We are providing our guests with update information as it becomes available.’