Public Works to test readiness

The Public Works Department and the National Roads Authority will be carrying out an annual hurricane preparedness exercise Thursday, 10 May, erecting hurricane shutters on government buildings and shelters in Grand Cayman in preparation of the 1 June beginning of hurricane season.

In Grand Cayman, Public Works and roads authority employees will be involved in the exercise, organising teams with specific responsibilities including shuttering up and protecting more than 100 government complexes and buildings, as well as 15 shelters. In addition to shuttering the buildings, standby generators in shelters and key government buildings will be checked and started, and cistern water levels will be assessed.

Once shelters and buildings are shuttered, inspectors will carry out detailed inspections to certify the facilities are adequately secured.

This exercise duplicates the activities that will take place in the event of a real hurricane. Some statutory authorities are also participating in the exercise, by securing their own facilities.

Members of the public are encouraged to review their own home protection plans at this time, as the start of the hurricane season is only a few weeks away. At a minimum, the general public are advised to give thought to the following items:

What materials will be used to cover windows and glass doors in the event of a hurricane (usually plywood or purpose built aluminium shutters).

Where will these materials be obtained, and how will they be installed (it is often too late to consider this once a hurricane warning has been issued as these materials are in very short supply on the island in the event of a hurricane).

Is your home a safe place to stay in the event of a hurricane? If it is situated on or near the sea, or is of poor construction, then it is not. If not, where will you stay? In the home of a friend or relative, at your workplace or in a public hurricane shelter?

Due to the limited number of hurricane shelter spaces, you should make every effort to stay in the safe home of someone you know, or at your workplace. Staying in a hurricane shelter should be considered a last resort, as shelters will be crowded and uncomfortable.

For additional information, please contact the Public Works Department at 949-2547.

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