The Cayman Islands population is considering its readiness as hurricane season dawns once more.
Some 283 people took part in a special poll in which they were asked at what stage their hurricane and disaster preparations were.
The largest single number, 85, or 30.1 percent, said they were ready, and “already had all [their] supplies and shutters.” Second by a whisker was the option for “I’m waiting until it looks like a storm is going to bear down on Cayman,” which was voted for by 83 people, or 29.3 percent.
In equal third place for popularity were two options. Exactly 53 people, which equates to 18.7 percent, selected the option “I’m going to wait until the season officially starts on June 1 before getting any supplies,” and also the perhaps a little more worrying, “Nothing. Most storms pass us by.”
Nine people (3.2 percent) selected “Other.”
Commenters also shared some of their views on why they had selected their preferred answer to the question.
One individual who is opting to wait until the first day of June and the official start to the season explained why.
“The May warnings are my ‘time to start’ bell, but real prep won‘t begin until June 1,” shared the respondent.
Another commenter who said that the best thing to do was to wait until a storm was bearing down looked confidently into their crystal ball.
“We are not gonna be affected by any storm,” the reader predicted.
Oftentimes, the “Other” option is one that draws the most comments from participants, and the current poll was no exception.
“I get our supplies bit by bit,” revealed one pragmatic participant, “So it isn’t so hard financially to stock up.”
Another reader made the same point.
“I have to prepare in stages because of finances,” wrote the cash-conscious pollster.
Another respondent was depending on the vagaries of fate to guide them through the season.
“[I am] getting rid of stuff in my garage and praying that a storm doesn’t come,” wrote that person.
Hurricanes were one thing, felt another reader who selected the “Other” option, but there were other day-to-day worries to concern them.
“[I am] more worried about Cayman’s criminals,” pointed out the Compass reader.
One person was philosophical about the whole situation.
“Whether I’m prepared or not,” began the fatalist, “if my day comes … there’s nothing I can do about it.”
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Ivan, which laid waste to Cayman in September 2004.
This year, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, forecasters are predicting there will be between eight and 13 named storms, including between three and six hurricanes, during the six-month hurricane season, which begins on June 1.
According to the NOAA, there is a possibility of an El Niño event this summer. This means that weaker than usual trade winds in the equatorial region of the Pacific may have a role in changing the patterns of wind and therefore storms. The event also may inhibit the development of tropical storms in the Atlantic region.
Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist with Weather Services International, explained that the tropical Atlantic surface temperatures remain “rather cool relative to the average of the last 20 years, and an emerging El Niño event also tilts the odds towards reduced activity this season.”
Next week’s poll question
- What should government do with its surplus?
- Pay more toward reducing government debt.
- Save it for a rainy day.
- Create a mental health facility.
- Reduce duty on diesel so electricity bills will go down.
- Other (explain).
To participate, visit www.compasscayman.com.