Gustav warning issued for Cayman

Officials with the Cayman Islands Hazard Management Council said Thursday evening that the islands’ emergency operations centre would open around mid-day Friday and that an island wide curfew could be issued for Grand Cayman, if weather conditions start deteriorating as expected later in the afternoon.

Council Chairman Donovan Ebanks said it was still too early to make any definitive statements on a curfew, but said a decision could come as early as Friday morning.

He urged islands residents to complete storm preparations Thursday night, if possible, or at the latest early Friday.

Mr. Ebanks said he expected some grocery stores and gas stations to open in the morning hours, but that little else was likely to be available for last-minute storm shoppers.

“There would be a window for them from around 7am to 11am,” he said.

The following advisory was issued from Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ Joint Communications Service:

Tropical Storm Gustav Update: 6:00 p.m. Thursday, 28 August 2008

Key messages:

1. The Cayman Islands are now under a hurricane WARNING. This means that hurricane conditions could begin to affect the Islands within 24 hours.

2. This storm is expected to become a category 1 hurricane today as it moves past Jamaica.

3. Tropical storm-force winds are likely to start affecting Grand Cayman from tomorrow afternoon (Friday 29 August)

4. At 4:00 p.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Gustav was located near 18.1 N 76.6W, or 310 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman and 237 miles southeast of the Sister Islands. Gustav is moving west near 6mph, with maximum sustained winds near 70mph with higher gusts. This westward motion is likely to continue, with a gradual increase in forward speed.

5. Changes in Gustav’s path confirm the importance of monitoring this system.
All three islands must remain vigilant since the path could still shift again.

6. The Owen Roberts International Airport is now in full emergency mode, streamlining the departure check in process in tent facilities outside the terminal building.

7. Sub-committee preparations are continuing and Cayman Islands residents should closely monitor all local media outlets that carry local news in order to stay informed about Gustav.

Advice to local population:

1. Residents are advised to secure loose materials in yards and on jobsites.

2. Farmers and pet owners should ensure their animals are protected.

3. Residents should always be in a state of readiness during hurricane season. Among other activities, this would include:
a. food and medicine supplies
b. shuttering supplies
c. important documents, including travel documents, in order
d. after marine interests
e. a pet safety plan
f. Checking your generator and having fuel
g. sure that your family, and persons who will be staying with you in the event of a storm, are aware of the plan.

4. Remember:
i. be careful using open flame stoves and candles. Avoid drapes, open windows and proximity to flammable materials.
ii. not store fuel indoors
iii. Do not operate generators indoors
iv. Do ensure that building openings are protected
v. ensure that doors and windows can be securely locked.

Gustav warning issued for Cayman
Officials with the Cayman Islands Hazard Management Council said Thursday evening that the islands’ emergency operations centre would open around mid-day Friday and that an island wide curfew could be issued for Grand Cayman, if weather conditions start deteriorating as expected later in the afternoon.

Council Chairman Donovan Ebanks said it was still too early to make any definitive statements on a curfew, but said a decision could come as early as Friday morning.

He urged islands residents to complete storm preparations Thursday night, if possible, or at the latest early Friday.

Mr. Ebanks said he expected some grocery stores and gas stations to open in the morning hours, but that little else was likely to be available for last-minute storm shoppers.

“There would be a window for them from around 7am to 11am,” he said.

The following advisory was issued from Hazard Management Cayman Islands’ Joint Communications Service:

Tropical Storm Gustav Update: 6:00 p.m. Thursday, 28 August 2008

Key messages:

1. The Cayman Islands are now under a hurricane WARNING. This means that hurricane conditions could begin to affect the Islands within 24 hours.

2. This storm is expected to become a category 1 hurricane today as it moves past Jamaica.

3. Tropical storm-force winds are likely to start affecting Grand Cayman from tomorrow afternoon (Friday 29 August)

4. At 4:00 p.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Gustav was located near 18.1 N 76.6W, or 310 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman and 237 miles southeast of the Sister Islands. Gustav is moving west near 6mph, with maximum sustained winds near 70mph with higher gusts. This westward motion is likely to continue, with a gradual increase in forward speed.

5. Changes in Gustav’s path confirm the importance of monitoring this system.
All three islands must remain vigilant since the path could still shift again.

6. The Owen Roberts International Airport is now in full emergency mode, streamlining the departure check in process in tent facilities outside the terminal building.

7. Sub-committee preparations are continuing and Cayman Islands residents should closely monitor all local media outlets that carry local news in order to stay informed about Gustav.

Advice to local population:

1. Residents are advised to secure loose materials in yards and on jobsites.

2. Farmers and pet owners should ensure their animals are protected.

3. Residents should always be in a state of readiness during hurricane season. Among other activities, this would include:
a. Having food and medicine supplies
b. Having shuttering supplies
c. Having important documents, including travel documents, in order
d. Looking after marine interests
e. Having a pet safety plan
f. Checking your generator and having fuel
g. Making sure that your family, and persons who will be staying with you in the event of a storm, are aware of the plan.

4. Remember:
i. Do be careful using open flame stoves and candles. Avoid drapes, open windows and proximity to flammable materials.
ii. Do not store fuel indoors
iii. Do not operate generators indoors
iv. Do ensure that building openings are protected
v. Do ensure that doors and windows can be securely locked.

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