Prepare for any natural disasters

Old wives’ tales and rumours abound on Grand Cayman that a tsunami or tsunamis caused giant boulders to be snatched up from the bottom of the Caribbean Sea and deposited on the shores of Grand Cayman. 

While there have never been any official reports of tsunamis in the Cayman Islands, we do know there have been earthquakes. 

It was an earthquake in Japan that spawned the massive killer tsunami in Japan earlier this year. That country is still reeling from the massive destruction and loss of life. 

Tsunamis can occur in the Caribbean and in fact one did hit at Port Royal in Kingston, Jamaica, on 7 June 1692. The tsunami was associated with a large magnitude earthquake and a submarine landslide. According to Murray A. Roed’s book ‘Islands from the Sea geological stories of Cayman,” scientists believe that Grand Cayman was affected. Some large boulders may have been ripped from the ocean’s bedrock and washed onto the Island, his book says.  

The latest earthquake of any substance struck Grand Cayman on 14 December, 2004, only three months after the wide-spread destruction of Hurricane Ivan. We have had other earthquakes since and, living near the Cayman Trough, it’s a good bet we’ll have more before the end of this world. 

Earthquakes and tsunamis we can’t predict. But hurricanes we can. And Wednesday is the start of Hurricane Season 2011. 

So the Observer on Sunday takes this Sunday as a chance to remind you to examine your hurricane supplies, throw out items – especially food – that have expired. All businesses and homes should have a hurricane plan, whether it is to stay home and ride out the storm, seek shelter or evacuate. Now is a good time to gather around family members and co-workers to review those plans. As you’re relaxing this Sunday afternoon, take out the insurance papers on your home, vehicles and property to find out what your coverage is in the event of a natural disaster. Remember that after Ivan many homeowners and business owners realised their cover wasn’t enough and the insurance cheques were disappointingly less than what was needed to fully rebuild. 

The Observer on Sunday’s sister publication the Caymanian Compass will produce its annual hurricane guide this week. Be sure to pick up a copy and get prepared.