It’s that time of year when we pay more attention to what’s brewing in the Atlantic and Caribbean regions.
Forecasters have predicted a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year with, the respected group from Colorado State University indicating it is likely that there will be 12 named storms with five hurricanes, two of which are expected to be major.
Although we have been fortunate enough to be spared nature’s wrath in recent years, we ought not to let our guards down. All it takes is one storm to change our fortunes. We just need to remember the catastrophic damage that Irma and Maria left in their wake across the region a couple of years ago.
As the hurricane season begins, we ought to have our plans in place. Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers offered the following advice in her address to mark National Preparedness Day on May 20th:
“The primary purpose of observing the National Day of Preparedness is to highlight the importance of being ready for the upcoming hurricane season and other natural disasters. The day is observed on a public holiday, Discovery Day, so that all residents can have the opportunity to review their respective family plans and identify anything that requires attention, to ensure the highest level of personal preparedness.
Like many countries, the Cayman Islands are vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards including hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods. With the beginning of hurricane season swiftly approaching on June 1st, it is especially important that residents are prepared because planning ahead can save lives!
As the Minister responsible for Home Affairs, I therefore urge all residents to not only evaluate your family and business plans, but also identify how you can help to prepare your community and assist in the event that a hazard strikes.
In addition to ensuring that your family’s hurricane supplies are well stocked, you can enhance your family’s level of preparedness by taking small steps, such as discussing your personal plans with all family members so that everyone knows what to do and what to expect; installing carbon monoxide detectors; reviewing your home and business insurance coverage to ensure that your premiums are up to date and starting your own emergency savings fund.”
Let her words be a guide that we should not wait until the threat of a storm is imminent to start thinking about how we plan to stay safe should the need arise. Let’s also think about the vulnerable among us: the elderly and disabled in our communities, as well as anyone else who may need help if a hurricane is about to strike.
Let’s hope we don’t have to worry about storms this year, but if we do, let’s ensure we are prepared.