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Published 11th May 2017, 10:32am

National Day of Preparedness is being observed on May 15, 2017. The theme this year is “Know your Risks, Make a Plan, Get a Kit, Stay Informed!”

National Day of Preparedness is observed on a public holiday so that all residents can have the opportunity to review their respective family plans and level of personal preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season and any other hazard.

Representatives of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) will be on hand at sponsoring hardware stores, meeting with residents, answering questions and handing out Hazard awareness information. Residents are encouraged to visit the stores and enter to win (at no cost!) one of the emergency preparedness kits that have been kindly donated by participating hardware stores On June 1st, five lucky names will be drawn on live television on Cayman Cross Talk and will receive these kits.

Participating hardware stores have sponsored National Day of Preparedness activities for a number of years and as a result, HMCI has been able to personally engage thousands of residents about preparedness issues. Come join HMCI again this year at stores listed below, on the following dates:

Saturday May 13th

• A.L. Thompson’s (9am-12:30pm)

• Cox Lumber Company (1-4pm))

Saturday May 20th

• Kirk’s Home Centre (9am-12:30pm)

• Cost U Less (1-4pm)

Saturday May 30th

• Uncle Bill’s Home Improvement Centre (9am-12:30pm)

The Cayman Islands are vulnerable to a number of different hazards including hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, but with the beginning of the hurricane season right around the corner (June 1st), it is especially important that residents are ready for the hurricane threat. In past hurricanes (such as Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Paloma) many residents lost passports, photographs, computers and even their homes and vehicles. In some cases people were hungry and thirsty in the days immediately following the impact. With proper planning most of these hardships and losses could have been avoided.

Unfortunately when the threat of a hurricane is imminent there is a lot to do and many important decisions to be made. If you leave things to the last minute there really is only time to scramble to gather some vital supplies (if there are any left in the stores). So prepare now:

Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:

• At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)

• Non-perishable food

• A battery operated radio

• Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies

• Manual can opener

• First aid kit

• Prescription and non-prescription medicines

• Toiletries, paper towel and garbage bags

• Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers

• Battery-powered radios and flashlights

• Plenty of batteries

• Extra cash

• Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

During a hurricane, and possibly for days or even weeks afterward, electricity and other utilities might not be available. Debris and/or water might block the roads preventing vehicles from getting in or out of your neighborhood. Help might not reach you for days after a hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period. Hurricanes can bring torrential rain, flooding, storm surges and devastating winds that damage homes, destroy treasured keepsakes and disrupt family life. You don't have to be blown away when a hurricane hits. It's never too early to prepare and you can take several basic steps right now to protect your family and your home from disaster.

Come to a decision about:

• Where do you plan to ride out a hurricane?

• Where are you going to keep your pets during a hurricane?

• Where will you store your car during a hurricane?

Also:

• Test emergency equipment such as generators and flashlights

• Trim trees that could fall on your roof

• Check shutters are working properly

• Review insurance coverage for your home and business and determine your flood insurance eligibility. Also review your home owner’s insurance policy periodically with your insurance agent or company representative to make sure you have sufficient coverage to rebuild your life and home after a hurricane.

For more information please contact Simon Boxall at Simon.boxall@gov.ky or on 926-2027.

“Know your Risks, Make a Plan, Get a Kit, Stay Informed!”