Gov’t issues hurricane advice

Government officials are reminding those in the Cayman Islands to ensure their travel documents are in order as hurricane season has begun. 

You should make copies of your key documents including passports, birth certificates, work permits and drivers’ licenses and store them in a safe place separate from the originals. The original documents should be kept with you in waterproof bags or containers during any emergency situation, particularly in the event of an approaching hurricane or tropical storm. 

 

Travelling to the US 

For those people who may wish to travel to the US either before, or immediately after a hurricane, it is essential that your documents are in order. It is extremely unlikely that anyone without appropriate documentation will be allowed to enter the United States in any circumstances. Those who do plan to travel to the US should also be aware that the Visa Waiver Programme only operates for commercial flights and they should therefore also obtain a US visa if travelling on charter or private flights. Those nationals looking to travel under the VWP should also apply online for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. 

 

British passport holders 

British passport holders should note that an application for a passport renewal has a minimum five week turnaround time. To avoid applicants being without travel documents during the hurricane season only, applicants will not need to send their current passports with the renewal application. However, a photocopy will still need to be sent. The old passport must only be used for emergency travel. This is because the passport issuing system will electronically cancel the old passport when the new one is being processed and applicants risk travelling on an invalid travel document. US Immigration will accept a machine-readable British passport with at least one month’s validity. British passport holders should note that passport renewals are now processed by the British Embassy in Washington. Details of this service can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/world/cayman-islands. 

 

Honorary consuls 

Nationals of other countries should also give consideration to applying for a new passport if they intend to visit their home country over the summer. The following nationalities are represented in the Cayman Islands: 

Austria: Martin Richter [email protected] or 925-4559 or 926-1520. New Austrian biometric passports will require a visit to an Austrian passport issuing authority in order to record biometric data. 

Barbados: Juliette Gooding, 925-7264 or Liaison Officer Wingrove Hunte 926-8303, email [email protected] or [email protected] 

Brazil: Giorgio Subiotto [email protected], 949-9876 during business hours. 

Canada: Jeff Boucher, www.pptc.gc.ca or www.jamaica.gc.ca, 949-9400, or e-mail [email protected] The Consulate of Canada is at Landmark Square, 1st Floor, 64 Earth Close (off West Bay Road past the Strand), Seven Mile Beach. Open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 1pm. Canadian nationals can register while visiting or living abroad at www.travel.gc.ca. 

France: Sebastien Guilbard, 949-2118 or email [email protected] / [email protected] 

Germany: Christiane Schuette-McField, 924-3561 or email [email protected]  

Honduras: Miguel Molina-Brown, email [email protected] or [email protected], phone 914-8665. 

India: Krishna Mani, email [email protected], phone 945-1565 or 928-4681. 

Jamaica: Joseph Marzouca. Visit http://www.jaconsulatecayman.org/m1a.html or contact Deputy Honorary Consul Elaine Harris on 949-9526, email [email protected] Emergency number: 325-6634. The Jamaican Consulate: Dot Com Centre is at 342A Dorcy Drive in the Industrial Park. Emergency travel documents can be issued within 24 hours with proper proof of Jamaican nationality and identification and the passport renewal time is two to three weeks. 

Philippines: Arturo Ursua [email protected], 925-8279 or 949-2716. 

Spain: Garth Arch, [email protected] or call 949-2400 or 525-5603. 

Switzerland: For Consular and administrative information, contact the Consulate General in Atlanta, USA on 1-404-870-2000 or e-mail [email protected] There is a turnaround time for three to four weeks for new passports. New biometric passports will require a visit to a Swiss passport issuing authority in order for biometric data to be captured. Further information can be found at www.eda.admin.ch/atlanta. For on-island emergencies, contact Peter Schmid on 326-4385 or by e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] Or from abroad by Satellite phone +88-1621-462160 (post event in case of tele-communications failure). 

UK: For passport renewals, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/world/cayman-islands. For emergency travel documents during business hours, call the Cayman Islands Passport Office on 943-7678 or visit the Office at Sussex House, Elgin Avenue, George Town. For other consular information during business hours contact [email protected] on 244-2434 or [email protected] on 244-2431. For out-of-hours consular assistance, contact the duty officer on 925-4307. 

USA: Visit http://kingston.usembassy.gov/travel_alerts.html or contact Gary Montemayor on 945-8173 or by email [email protected] The US Consular Agency is at the Cayman Centre, Unit B-1, 118 Dorcy Drive, but will be moving to the Smith Road centre during the summer months. 

The Governor’s Office would like to remind all other foreign nationals in the Cayman Islands that the advice above also applies to them. If you have not already done so, you should consider registering with your nearest Consular mission. Further details can be found on your own government’s web 0. 

hurricane-ivan

A satelllite image of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. – Photo: File
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Gov’t issues hurricane advice. Now this is a scream. What Government need to consider is that the Richer persons on this Island has nothing to worry about. They can afford, and have insurance and they can secure their homes, and they can take their families and close friends out on a flight if their is a disaster.
    Has anyone considered what the government in each district is doing to ease the minds of those persons who cannot even afford hurricane shutters, much less Insurance or taking a flight out of here.?
    To the New Government, I say pleas do not forget HURRICANE IVAN and we do not know what will happen this year. So my suggestion is that each one of you who has a district under your belt, to go into your districts and find out what is happening. Assist persons with getting a loan for hurricane shutters. The old plywood give-way is just not good enough. All you are doing is making the rich get richer by buying quarter million dollars of plywood each year. Assist persons with getting hurricane shutters, and also repair their roofs. Is this another year that I have to see and hear Caymanians standing in flooded waters because of the promises made. This Hurricane season is very important to be considered, so instead of talking about securing travel documents, I would suggest you pay attention to people in your district and their needs. Another Ivan, and all hell will break loose take my word for it.

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  2. As hot as the ocean is right now, I would not be surprised if the next hurricane to hit Cayman surpassed Ivan for strength. Let’s be honest, if the government tried to adequately prepare us for another Ivan, there would be mass hysteria and therefore they placate us with empty platitudes.
    Ever since Ivan, I have been prepared for something of equal or greater magnitude. Every year, I have bought something of value and added to my supplies, gadgets and tools. I have spare food, gasoline, a solar generator, a water maker, first aid and other bits and bobs that I would need in an emergency.
    If you are an expat and have never been through a hurricane, I wouldn’t bother. Better to leave if you can. All the best to everyone this hurricane season. Be wise and most of all, trust God.

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