Editorial for 01 August: Time for more storm awareness

With all that has transpired since last week’s momentous
announcement that the government intends to implement direct taxation in Cayman
for the first time, it’s understandable if residents haven’t been paying much
attention to the weather.

Now that August is upon us, it’s a good time to remind
residents that the most active three months of the hurricane season start now.

Historically, about 78 per cent of all Atlantic Basin
hurricanes occur during August, September and October. It’s quite common for
there to be no hurricanes before August; in fact, the average date of the first
hurricane of the season isn’t until 10 August.

This year’s hurricane season is expected by forecasters to
be about average.  However, regardless of
whether hurricane activity is expected to have above average, below average or
just average, all it takes is one hurricane to impact the Cayman Islands for it
to be a bad hurricane season. It is therefore important that residents prepare
the same way for every hurricane season.

Almost on cue, the National Hurricane Center in Miami is
tracking an area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave moving across
the tropical Atlantic Ocean. This system has a reasonable chance to become
Tropical Storm Ernesto as it approaches the Caribbean Sea by the end of the
week.

Those who have procrastinated with the task of hurricane
preparation should procrastinate no more. Waiting until there’s the threat of a
storm before starting to prepare not only adds stress to an already stressful
situation, but it also strains Cayman’s ability to effectively supply residents
with everything they will need to prepare.

Long-time residents probably already know what needs to be
done, but for those residents who are new or those who need some refreshing on
the drill, a free copy of the Cayman Free Press Hurricane Supplement can be
collected at our offices or it can be viewed on line on our website. A little
bit of planning now can pay big dividends should Cayman have the misfortune of
experiencing another hurricane.