Today’s Editorial for September 3: Time to shutter plywood idea

A proposal to establish a programme to provide qualified people with money to buy hurricane shutters should be seriously considered.

We are in the throes of hurricane season and have three systems stalking the Atlantic Ocean.

At least one could pose another threat to the Cayman Islands.

If it does, it’s almost a guarantee that Government will once again be doling out free plywood to all comers.

Don’t get us wrong. We applaud the government for ensuring that people have plywood to board up their homes.

But when we have an extra-active hurricane season, that long-standing practice of giving away plywood can get expensive.

Under Leader of Opposition McKeeva Bush’s plan the Government would make sure that those who can’t afford shutters would get them.

Others, who make a decent living but can’t dole out the price of shutters all at once, would be privy to a bank loan to get their homes shuttered.

The shuttering of all homes would mean that Government wouldn’t have to buy costly plywood each time a storm threatens and residents would already be equipped to prepare their homes for any storms; they would simply only have to close their shutters.

We do question why Government has to give away plywood to the same people each time a storm threatens.

For years many folks in the Cayman Islands have reused plywood when boarding up their houses during approaching storms.

After the storm – or the season – passes, those homeowners take down their plywood, which has been marked as to which window or door it is to cover, and store it in a safe, dry place.

We have to wonder what those same people who collect the free boards are doing with the plywood. There is speculation that some of the boards are being sold.

Mr. Bush also proposes that the homes of all front-line public servants be secured by Government so they can do their jobs without worrying about their families during storms.

We agree.

We would also like to take the suggestion once step farther. When free plywood is doled out, have people on hand to explain how to properly install and store plywood for the next storm.

If people are taking advantage of Government’s generosity and making a profit from it, shame on them.

Each piece of board that is taken for the wrong reasons could have been the board that saved someone else’s home and possibly even their lives.

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