Ivan anniversary serves as reminder to be prepared

| 11/09/2013

(CNS): Withjust a small craft warning in place due to rainy weather and two tropical storms out in the Atlantic Wednesday morning, Cayman was remembering very different weather conditions nine years ago on the anniversary of its worst ever hurricane on record. Hurricane Ivan struck Grand Cayman on the 11/12 September 2004 causing an estimated $3billion of damage and has become something of a watershed in the islands’ history. Although those who remained here during and after the storm went through tough times for several weeks unlike many places around the world hit by natural disaster Cayman recovered rapidly.

However, the shock and devastation and the changes brought by Ivan serve as a continued reminder that Cayman is always vulnerable to storms especially this time of year.

“We now are in the most active month for hurricane activity,” said Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell. “Hurricane Ivan taught us to not be complacent and to always be prepared. If you will recall, we all thought the Sister Islands were going to get the damage from Ivan, but they were spared; that time.”

The hurricane came closest to the Island around 7am on Sunday 12 September some 21 miles southwest of Grand Cayman packing winds of 150mph with significantly higher gusts, weather experts have said, of more than 200mph. The storm extended some 350 miles across and it took more than 24 hours to pass.

However, despite the incredible destruction and the weeks without power and water following the hurricane the financial sector was up and running within a week or so and just two months later Cayman was welcoming cruise ships and overnight guests returned well before Christmas. The reconstruction following Ivan saw millions injected into the local economy and development surged as the islands were awash in insurance pay outs. Many thousands of new workers were brought to the island to help in the rebuild and many local businesses were formed to meet the insatiable demand it created.

The post Ivan economy boom however began to fade just in time for the world economic crash when the seeds for many of the economic and social woes the country is suffering now were sown. Caymanians began to lose jobs, people left, businesses began to fold and thousands of rebuilt condos stood empty.

The storm taught many lessons, the deputy premeir stated in his remarks about the storm this week, but there are many who believe not all of those lessons were learned.

“Hurricane Ivan was a terrible blow to Grand Cayman, but we learned many lessons from that storm,” said Kirkconnell. “The most important thing we learned is that we have to be prepared at all times for any kind of a disaster. If you don’t have a hurricane plan for your home or business, please put one in place.”

Residents should also ensure they have plenty of up-to-date hurricane supplies, including tinned food, prescription medications and fresh water. People are also urged to know where the nearest shelter is and decide whether they need to evacuate if a storm is coming.

For a full listing of things needed to survive a hurricane, visit www.caymanprepared.gov.ky
For details on current local weather conditions visit www.weather.gov.ky and for tropical weather information visit www.nhc.noaa.gov

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Anonymous says:

    someone has no idea what a troll is….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I remembered Ivan and the devastation it brought and took time out to thank God for protecting us then and now. Thank You Lord!

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    Anyone who found Hurricane Ivan to be an enjoyable time please five me a thumbs up…

    Otherwise a thumbs dowb will suffice…