Editorial for July 20: Hurricane season upon us

It’s official.

The active part of the Atlantic
Hurricane Season has begun.

We saw plenty of evidence of it
over the past weekend when a tropical wave dumped a plethora of rain on Grand
Cayman.

Those who monitor weather websites saw
there were two areas of possible cyclone development – the wave that passed
south of us on the weekend and another just northeast of Puerto Rico.

Then as we look over to the
continent of Africa, we see vigorous tropical waves, which tell us the Cape Verde
hurricane season is getting ready to start. Those are the storms we need to be
concerned about.

The Cayman Islands has been
fortunate in recent years when it comes to hurricane activity.

Grand Cayman had its major hit in
2004 with Hurricane Ivan. Cayman Brac didn’t fare too well in 2008 when
Hurricane Paloma caused widespread devastation. There are still residents on
both islands who haven’t gotten over either storm.

We were cautioned early in the year
that this hurricane season is going to be particularly active, so we must all
do what we can now to prepare.

If you’re not sure of hurricane
supplies you need to have on hand, stop by the offices of Cayman Free Press on
Shedden Road and pick up a copy of our 2010 Hurricane Supplement. It’s full of
great advice and tips on how to prepare for and survive a hurricane. You can
also view it online at www.caycompass.com

If you’re new to the Islands,
welcome. This past weekend’s stormy weather should give you a pretty good idea
of whether you are in a flood-prone area. If you’re not sure, talk to your
neighbours who were here during Hurricane Ivan and determine now whether it
will be necessary for you to evacuate your home during a storm.

Evacuation will be easier if you do
some advance preparation, like finding out where the nearest shelter is or what
the rules will be at the airport if you think you would be better off away from
the island.

We’ve been given a gentle reminder
that we are indeed in the throes of hurricane season. Do what you can now to
prepare for the worst.

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