Don't be alarmed if you see hurricane shutters going up on Government buildings and hurricane shelters in Grand Cayman on Wednesday (5 May).
There is no hurricane approaching. The Public Works Department (PWD) and National Roads Authority (NRA) will be carrying out their annual hurricane preparedness drill in preparation for the 2010 hurricane season.
"This exercise duplicates the activities that will take place in the event of a real hurricane," PWD Director Max Jones explained. "Most statutory authorities are also participating in the exercise by securing their own facilities."
All PWD employees and several NRA staff members will take part in the exercise. Organised into teams, they will shutter and protect more than 100 government buildings including 16 hurricane shelters.
Standby generators at shelters and key government buildings will also be evaluated and started. Cistern water levels will be checked and topped up where needed.
On completion, inspectors will assess the shelters and buildings to ensure that the facilities are adequately secured.
Sidebar: Review Your Home Protection Plan
The 1st June start of the 2010 hurricane season is just a month away. Residents are encouraged to review their home protection plans. At the very least thought should be given to the following:
- What materials will you use to cover windows and glass doors in the event of a hurricane? Plywood or purpose-built aluminium shutters are usually good choices.
- Where can you purchase these materials, and how will they be installed? It is often too late to consider this once a hurricane warning has been issued. Materials are generally in short supply by that time.
- Is your home a safe place to shelter during a hurricane? If it is located on or near the sea, or is of poor construction, you should make arrangements to shelter elsewhere. Plan to stay with a friend or relative, at your workplace, or in a public shelter. Remember however that shelter space is limited, so weathering a storm in a shelter should be considered a last resort.