Hurricane season begins June 1, but Cayman Islands public officials are already preparing for it. Considering the first hurricane of 2016 was recorded two months ago, when a disturbance in the Atlantic turned into Hurricane Alex, early preparation for the season may be especially prudent this year, officials said.
As part of the preparation process, a delegation of public officials, including Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, attended the 2016 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida, last week.
The annual conference provides a forum for education and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness. The primary goal of the conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts in order to save lives and property in the United States, and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific.
Chief Fire Officer David Hails and Hazard Management Cayman Islands Deputy Director Lee Madison accompanied Mr. Manderson. Two representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chief Financial Officer Vinton Chinsee and Assistant Chief Officer Michael Ebanks, also attended the conference.
The conference, held March 21 to 24, provided courses, workshops and networking events to support the exchange of ideas, strategies, and policies with a view to improve emergency management.
Disaster events like hurricanes require inter-agency collaboration at all levels of government, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“As emergency managers and first responders, our aim is to be prepared ahead of a disaster in order to deliver the services required by the community during and after the event,” Mr. Hails said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs also stresses that preparation among the general public is also crucial to mitigating the damaging effects of disasters such as hurricanes.
For those who wish to learn more about preparing for disasters, Hazard Management Cayman Islands has published a library of informational resources available online at www.caymanprepared.ky and www.facebook.com/caymanhazard.