When a tropical cyclone is likely to affect the Cayman Islands, warnings will be issued as follows:

ALERT

When notification is received that a hurricane or tropical storm is likely to strike the Cayman Islands within the next 72 hours or more.

WATCH

When notification is received that a hurricane or tropical storm is likely to strike within the next 48 hours; your hurricane preparations should be under way.

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WARNING

When notification is received that a hurricane or tropical storm is likely to strike within the next 36 hours; your hurricane preparations should be stepped up, if not already completed.

ALL CLEAR

When notification is received that a hurricane or tropical storm has passed, or no longer poses a threat.

KNOW WHAT TO DO BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE STORM.

BEFORE

Prepare an emergency kit and have a disaster plan in place. Make sure all your family members have a contingency plan in case you are separated from one another.

Heed watches, warnings and evacuations. If you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately.

DURING

Stay close to government channels and local news outlets, including caymancompass.com, for information and updates about the storm, and follow emergency orders closely. If advised, turn off propane tanks and other utilities.

Stay inside and away from windows and doors; a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level is the best option.

AFTER

Stay informed about further weather updates, especially rain, which can cause flooding.

Keep an eye out for downed electrical lines. If you see any, report them right away.

Drive only if necessary. Stay away from flooded thoroughfares.

If you require a generator, do not run it from inside your home or an enclosed space as carbon monoxide can accumulate dangerously.

WHAT IS A HURRICANE?

A hurricane is a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters.

A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organised thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities).

Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39mph or higher are called tropical storms.

When a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74mph, it is called a hurricane. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating, or category, based on a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds. The higher the category, the greater the hurricane’s potential for property damage.

Hurricanes originate in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and, less frequently, the central North Pacific Ocean.

A six-year rotating list of names, updated and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization, is used to identify these storms.

Hurricane season begins on 1 June and ends 30 November, although hurricanes can, and have, occurred outside of this time frame.

– National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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