Archive for May 31st, 2014

Premier warns against complacency

| 31/05/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Although experts are predicting a quieter than average hurricane season, the premier urged residents not to be complacent as the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season opened this weekend. Even in the quietest of seasons, just one storm can wreak havoc and Cayman’s size and location makes it vulnerable, regardless of expectations. In his message to the country Alden McLaughlin warned people not to be lulled by the forecasts, stressing that hurricane predictions are merely a best estimate of expected hurricane activity. All residents are being advised to stock up and ensure they have an evacuation plan, regardless of what the weather throws at us.

As Grand Cayman faces the ten year anniversary of Ivan and cayman Brac the sixth anniversary of Paloma, those hurricanes serve as a reminder of the dangers.

“It will be ten years this season since Grand Cayman was slammed by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 and six years since Hurricane Paloma devastated Cayman Brac and parts of Little Cayman and it is my fear that we are becoming complacent in our preparations,” McLaughlin said in his message. “We saw in Hurricane Ivan that storms can be fickle. I remember well watching the track with Ivan and being more concerned about our Sister Islands and our friends in Jamaica. Then it wobbled. I dare say, the majority of us on Grand Cayman were not prepared; after all, it had been 16 years since Hurricane Gilbert and some 70 years since Cayman had felt the massive blows of a killer storm in 1932.”

McLaughlin urged all Caymanians and residents who know how to prepare for the season to reach out to newcomers who have moved to these islands who don’t know about hurricane preparations to help them get ready.

“If you do not yet have a personal hurricane plan, please get one in place. Be certain that you have your hurricane supplies and, if you live in a high risk or vulnerable area, plan your escape route to the nearest hurricane shelter. Government preparedness cannot be a substitute for personal preparedness. We all need to be ready so that we can survive any storms that come our way and be in a better position to do any necessary rebuilding,” he added.

Both government and the local media will be closely monitoring the weather in the region throughout the season and CNS will give ample and regular warnings of any impending storms based on local and regional sources and the from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The latest predictions are that the 2014 season will see only nine named storms with just three reaching hurricane status. The first named storm for the Atlantic season if, or when, it comes will be Arthur.

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