Hazard Management prepared for disaster

We at Hazard Management Cayman Islands would like to draw residents’ attention to the National Hazard Management Plan, which is located on the website http://www.caymanprepared.ky in the ‘Resources Section.’

We agree with Mr. [Roy] Bodden [Cayman Compass, 14 Jan. 2020] that more action needs to take place to face the climate change threat and sea level rise. The National Weather Service, HMCI and Department of Environment are all in agreement that climate change issue is real, and it is a significant threat.

In the letter, Mr. Bodden advocated for the establishment of at least one hurricane-resistant shelter in each district. There are currently 18 emergency shelters in Cayman, including a shelter in every district in Grand Cayman (see full list here: http://www.caymanprepared.ky/portal/page/portal/hmchome/shelter/list). Hazard Management is working to increase shelter capacity and two additional shelters will be coming online later in 2020.

Mr. Bodden also called for the establishment of civilian defence units trained to international Red Cross standards. We can confirm that a trained Red Cross National Intervention Team already exists and is ready to go operational when needed. Additionally, HMCI and Red Cross have been working to establish community Emergency Response Teams in the districts, and also to incorporate civic organisations in the disaster management structure to support recovery efforts.

Finally, Mr. Bodden proposed that a rapid response team of medical experts, counsellors, etc., be established to assist in the event of a large-scale national disaster. HMCI is leading the effort to create a rapid deployment team for the overseas territories which includes medical experts and other persons with relevant post-impact skills. This year, we can confirm that trained mental health counsellors will be available in the emergency shelters.

At HMCI, we appreciate Mr. Bodden taking the time to articulate his concerns and to propose sensible solutions to the threats we face. We also have great respect for Mr. Bodden’s work as an author of several insightful books, his service as the [president] of the [University College of the Cayman Islands], and for his contribution as a compassionate and dedicated representative of the people of Bodden Town and the Cayman Islands as a whole.

Simon Boxall
Hazard Management Cayman Islands

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