Cayman’s National Hurricane Plan is what is termed a ‘hazard specific’ plan and it sits under the main National Hazard Management Plan.
The Hurricane Plan specifies what actions are to be taken by which people before, during and after a tropical storm or hurricane impacts the Cayman Islands. The organisational structure is headed by the Governor, Martyn Roper, and the Premier, Alden McLaughlin, who co-chair the National Hazard Management Executive.
In addition to the Governor and Premier, the National Hazard Management Executive includes the Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Governor, Members of Cabinet, Financial Secretary, Attorney General and Commissioner of Police.
The National Hazard Management Policy Group also forms part of the disaster response structure and is tasked with making policy decisions and resolving conflicts referred by the Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands. The Policy Group is led by the Deputy Governor.
The National Emergency Operations Centre includes 18 Emergency Support Teams (ESTs) which are made up of personnel from various Government agencies, and representatives from the private and volunteer sector. These support teams have various areas of responsibility such as debris clearance, shelter operations and joint communications.
The NEOC, in the Government Administration Building, serves as headquarters to direct and coordinate response. This centre can communicate via telephone, fax, radio, SMS or email, VHF marine aeronautical channels and other land mobile radio frequencies plus satellite phones. There is also a call centre attached to the NEOC, which may also be used as a back-up for 9-1-1 calls.
In addition, a crisis management tool called WebEOC allows authorised persons to access information about mission tasks and significant events from anywhere in the world (provided that internet is working), so UK naval ships that may be en route to support the Cayman Islands can maintain full operational awareness of activities in the NEOC.
The government radio communications network is available on all three islands; each island system is capable of independent operation if it becomes disconnected from the rest of the network.
The responsibility for declaring a hurricane alert rests with John Tibbetts, Director General of the National Weather Service, in consultation with Danielle Coleman, Director of Hazard Management Cayman Islands, and Franz Manderson, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the National Hazard Management Council.
When an alert is declared, the public is advised through media releases. EST chairpersons notify their team members. The ESTs in Grand Cayman are grouped into clusters to maximise operational efficiency.
They are listed here with their chairpersons.