Time to prepare for hurricane season

Residents are being urged to ensure they are prepared for this year’s hurricane season, which starts June 1. 

Representatives of Hazard Management Cayman Islands will meet with residents at selected hardware stores this month to answer questions and hand out disaster management awareness information.  

A National Day of Preparedness on May 19 is held each year to encourage residents to prepare for hurricane season and to provide people the opportunity to review family plans and their level of personal preparedness.  

Simon Boxall, Hazard Management’s awareness and communications officer, said the Cayman Islands is vulnerable to a number of natural disasters, and hurricanes are a serious threat. 

“In past hurricanes, such as Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Paloma, many residents lost passports, photographs, computers and even their vehicles. In some cases people were hungry and thirsty in the days immediately following the impact. With proper planning, most of these hardships and losses could have been avoided,” Mr. Boxall said. 

“Unfortunately, when a hurricane threatens, there is a lot to do and many important decisions to be made. If you leave things to the last minute, there really is only time to scramble to gather some vital supplies, if there are any left in the stores.” 

Mr. Boxall reminds residents that a hurricane could leave the island without electricity and utilities for days, even weeks, and debris and/or water could trap people in or out of their neighborhoods. 

“Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period,” he said. 

Hazard Management representatives will be at Kirk’s Home Centre from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Uncle Bills from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on May 17, and at AL Thompson from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 24. 

They will also be at Progressive Distributors from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Cox Lumber Co. from 1 to 5 p.m. May 31. 

On June 12, the Caymanian Compass will publish a 2014 Hurricane Guide. 

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Damage on island caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. – Photos: Justin Uzzell.
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