Message from Danielle Coleman, Director, Hazard Management Cayman Islands

Danielle Coleman, Director, Hazard Management Cayman Islands

The 2020 hurricane season goes into the history books as the most active season on record, and the costliest.

Thirty named storms formed, of which 13 developed into hurricanes and six became major hurricanes.

The Cayman Islands was spared a direct hit but six of the systems caused varying degrees of impact; numerous vessels were damaged or destroyed, Seven Mile Beach suffered significant beach erosion, not to mention the impact on our mental well-being given the number of other emergencies that occurred during the year.

As we tune into this year’s forecast from a number of reliable sources, we see once again that the season is predicted to be ‘above average’ or ‘higher than normal’.

Unfortunately, with the overwhelming consensus in the disaster management community that the sea level is rising and climate change is a very real phenomenon, storms appear to be getting bigger and more frequent.

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So, what can we do about it, given that we live on islands where (at least on Grand Cayman) the average height above sea level is seven feet?

In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

The team at HMCI is a firm believer in this maxim and, as such, strongly recommends you are ready for the season ahead.

Be informed, know your risks, make a plan and get your supplies early. Know where you will shelter and ensure you and your family are ready to face any eventuality. Think about your own specific needs, as well as those of your family, your pets and your home.

Be CaymanKind in your preparations (and response to a storm) by assisting your community, especially the elderly and those persons who are more vulnerable.

The year 2020 taught us a lot of things but, above all, it reminded us how incredibly resilient we are and how strong we can all be when faced with challenges. Let’s be sure to build on that this year and be ready for whatever Mother Nature brings us.

May God continue to bless and protect the Cayman Islands.

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