Stocking up for hurricane season

A three-day supply of nonperishable food items and at least a gallon of water per day are the “absolute minimum” residents should have stored for hurricane season, authorities say. 

The advice comes as Cayman marks the National Day of Preparedness, which 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.  

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said in a statement released to coincide with National Preparedness Day on Monday that the theme of this year’s observance is “Preparedness for you, your home and your family.” He encouraged families to make sure they are ready for hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. 

Families are asked to create a family disaster plan, prepare an emergency supply of food and water, ensure generators are serviced and check the state of shutters, which are at risk of rust and debris, 

It is also recommended that families check insurance policies, remove debris from yards and trim trees and branches, and ensure they have use of a battery-operated radio and a flashlight. 

“Take time also to plan for the vulnerable persons in your family, such as the elderly and very young. They will need your assistance in coping with the effects of the hurricane,” Mr. Manderson said. 

The deputy governor reminded residents that they need to be aware of where to go in the instance of a hurricane; those who live on the coast or in low-lying areas are advised to move to less vulnerable locations. 

“Residents who intend to leave the islands prior to, or after, a hurricane, must ensure that all travel documents are updated and that visas or visa waivers are obtained. It is important to take steps to minimize your dependance on government, family or friends to support you in the aftermath of a storm, so begin taking the steps needed to get prepared,” he said. Mr. Manderson also noted that “Civil servants are reminded that they have a duty to maintain a high level of personal and family preparedness at all times. 

“The country depends on our emergency services and first responders to be ready in a time of crisis. Following the ‘all clear,’ all civil servants are expected to contribute to the recovery, including the performance of additional duties above and beyond their regular work schedule during the response phase.”  

Mr. Manderson stressed that residents should be prepared, regardless of the weather forecast. “It only takes one storm to cause damage and disrupt our lives. So please don’t let your guard down and let us be prepared for the hurricane season and beyond.”  

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will announce its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook on May 22. On June 12, the Cayman Compass will publish a 2014 Hurricane Guide. 

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Residents are being reminded to ensure they have food and water stored for hurricane season on June 1. – PHOTO: Justin Uzzell
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