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Cayman Islands Government

Minister Rivers on Disaster Preparedness

It is only by preparing to the highest level that we can have confidence in our ability to weather any storm.

As Hurricane Irma continues to develop in our region I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the importance of preparedness on a national as well as personal level.

First, my thoughts and prayers go out to our Caribbean brothers and sisters, in addition to those in Florida, who are in the projected path of Hurricane Irma. Our hearts are with all those persons in the Leeward Islands and Greater Antilles who are currently feeling the serious impact of this major storm. May God bless you and be with you.

At this time, if Hurricane Irma remains on its projected path, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service reports the hurricane is not a direct threat for the Cayman Islands. However, I would still like to urge residents to monitor this system closely and be aware as this hurricane develops further.

During hurricane season we must be vigilant at all times. The people of the Cayman Islands, of course know the value of being prepared.

There are still almost three months left until the end of the 2017 hurricane season, and I urge that all residents prepare with energy and dedication. We must not let our guard down, and for every potential storm threat I ask that you please be safe, be smart and ensure that you undertake sufficient preparation.

Mother Nature is truly unpredictable, and we must all be cognisant of the importance of being ready at all times during hurricane season, as a storm could quickly develop and be upon us with relatively little warning. We must remember that no two hurricanes are the same, and each storm has the potential to bring its own devastating effects.

I ask all residents of the Cayman Islands to have your hurricane plans in place, and have all of your necessary and essential supplies ready to go at a momentís notice.

If you have used up your emergency stock of non-perishable food and emergency water supplies it is time to replace them. All residents should aim to have a three-day supply of non-perishable food that does not require refrigeration, preparation, or cooking. Your hurricane supply kit should also have a minimum of 3 gallons of water for each person in the home.

In addition, all residents should have flashlights; a battery-operated radio, first aid supplies and ensure that insurance premiums are up-to-date.

All residents should also have a plan for where you will take shelter during a storm, especially if your property is in a low lying area or close to the coastline where storm surges may occur.

Also, be sure to cut back trees that overhang your home or buildings, check that shutters work and remove any loose debris around the yard such as coconuts and tree limbs.

If you intend to leave the Islands prior to, or after a hurricane, you must ensure that all travel documents are updated and that visas or visa waivers are obtained. Bear in mind too that passports are no longer issued locally.

I would also advise residents to stay up to date with the weather advisories, especially as there are two more storms currently developing behind Hurricane Irma.

A full list of supplies for your disaster preparedness kit can be found on the website www.caymanprepared.gov.ky or you can pick up a copy of the Hurricane Information Brochure at the ground floor of the Government Administration Building.

The country depends on our Emergency Services personnel and our First Responders to be ready in a time of crisis; but I ask for all residents to do their part now to ensure that the Cayman Islands are ready. It is only by preparing to the highest level that we can have confidence in our ability to weather any storm.

In closing, I pray for Godís continued blessings on our beloved Cayman Islands and that our preparations will result in safety and protection for all.

For further information contact: Jamie Hicks