The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for public sheltering.
Protocols such as social-distancing requirements will limit the number of people who can gather inside shelters, reducing overall capacity.
In his annual hurricane message in early June, Premier Alden McLaughlin urged residents to consider alternative options for sheltering.
“Whilst shelters are available if needed in the event of a storm, given the shortage of shelter space and the need for social distancing, we ask that you also consider any other sheltering options that may be available to you,” he said.
He suggested residents should seek alternate shelter such as going to “strong, elevated structures of friends or family members, or to resilient office buildings, if those options
If your home is hurricane-proof and is in a safe location, it is the best place to ride out a storm.
However, if you have no alternative, several buildings in each district in Cayman are designated as public shelters in the event of a storm.
Familiarise yourself with shelters nearest to your home and the best routes to get there. In the event of an evacuation, you’ll need to get to the shelter as quickly as possible.
Be aware that some shelters double as emergency medical centres, so if you have a potential or existing medical issue, choose a shelter that will have medical staff based there.
There are two pet-friendly shelters: John Gray High School and Clifton Hunter High School.
Pets, like people, are allocated space on a first-come, first-served basis. They are not allowed to roam free.
Make sure to pack anything you absolutely need, such as medications, important documents and money for post-hurricane expenses.
Emergency shelter locations
There are 15 designated public shelters in Grand Cayman and 4 in the Sister Islands.
John Gray High School – Gymnasium
George Town Primary School Assembly Hall
University College of the Cayman Islands Hall
Red Cross Building
Prospect Primary School (EMC)
Sir John A. Cumber Primary School Assembly Hall (EMC)
Sir John A. Cumber Primary School (part classrooms)
John Gray Memorial Church Hall
William Allen McLaughlin Civic Centre (EMC)
Gun Bay Community Hall
Craddock Ebanks Civic Centre (EMC)
Clifton Hunter High School – Gymnasium, Frank Sound (EMC)
Bodden Town Primary School Multi-purpose Hall (EMC)
Breakers Community Hall
Savannah Primary School Assembly Hall (EMC)
Aston Rutty Centre (EMC)
West End Primary School
Multi-purpose Hall (Sports Complex)
Public Works Department Building (EMC)
*EMC = Emergency Medical Centre