Volunteers needed for hurricane shelters

Training for hurricane shelter volunteers begins next month and community members are invited to sign up.

The Shelter Operations Sub Committee of Hazard Management Cayman Islands trained 106 volunteers last year, and is hoping to train a similar number this year.

“We have 16 shelters to man 24/7 in the event of a disaster, therefore we need an adequate pool of shelter volunteers,” said Cassandra Fearon, of the Department of Children and Family Services. “No special skills are needed as volunteers will be trained covering all the requirements of the role.”

Training sessions for shelter managers and district representative volunteers will be held over two days, on Wednesday, May 25, and Thursday, May 26, at the Prospect Primary School Hall from 5:30-9 p.m. All volunteers must complete both days of training.

Shelter managers are tasked with managing all aspects of the operation of a shelter and overseeing the needs of the population temporarily housed in the shelter.

One of the shelter manager’s responsibilities is to conduct pre- and post-checks of the shelters to assure all supplies are in place and that the facility is operational. They also ensure that each person seeking refuge in the shelter is registered, signs in and out, and that the shelter diary, which is the record of activities within the shelter, is regularly written up.

District representatives are individuals appointed in a district to assess that communities’ need for food, clothing and other vital supplies post-disaster, mobilize community members post-disaster to help in the bagging and distribution of food and clothing to those in need, and to receive the food supplies transported to the shelters pre-disaster and ensure they are properly secured for use post-disaster.

The 2016 Hurricane season officially begins June 1.

‘Average activity’ expected this hurricane season

Forecasters have predicted this year’s hurricane season will have “average activity.”
According to a forecast prepared by the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, a total of 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes are expected this season, which is close to the yearly average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

“We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean,” Colorado State University forecasters said in their hurricane forecast report. “As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”

To sign up to volunteer, contact Ernesto Carter at [email protected] or call 925-5346.