Editorial for August 09: Get ready now

Many Cayman residents might have
been lured into a false sense of complacency by the fact that the first two
months of the 2010 Atlantic basin hurricane season were calm, in spite of
predictions by forecasters that it would be a very active, if not hyperactive,
year for tropical cyclones.

It is actually rather rare,
however, for there to be much tropical cyclone activity during June and
July.  The peak part of the hurricane
season really begins now and lasts through October and storms can spin up one
after another during that span.

Last week three significant
forecasters, including the National Hurricane Center in Miami, stuck to their
pre-season predictions that this would be a very active year for tropical
cyclone activity. A La Niña in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and extremely warm
sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are two main factors cited by
the forecasters for why the believe 2010 will still be a very active season.

It is for these reasons that Cayman
Islands residents should prepare for a tropical cyclone right now, if they
already haven’t.  Chances are that our Islands
will have at least one major alert during the hurricane season and waiting
until the last minute to prepare is not very wise.

Rather than waiting in long lines
and risk having some important items sold out, residents should make sure they
have a hurricane plan for themselves and their families and that they have
ample hurricane supplies on hand – extra bottled water, batteries, foods that
don’t need heating, just to name a few.

It’s also a good time to clean up
the yard to ensure there is nothing lying around that could become a projectile
during a hurricane. Time flies when a hurricane is approaching and some things
can easily be overlooked by those who are trying to do everything at the last

As the people who were here during
Hurricane Ivan learned, Mother Nature will have her way during a
hurricane.  The only thing we can do is
to be prepared as much as possible, and we urge all residents to do just that
right now.