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Published 11th June 2009, 3:50pm

Spend some time preparing now! That is the message that Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) would like to drive home to the people of the Cayman Islands.

National Day of Preparedness is celebrated in the Cayman Islands on June 15, 2009 and residents are urged to update their family plan, restock their first aid kit and their supplies of non-perishable food.

Deputy Director of Preparedness, Omar Afflick offered these words of encouragement, "If you get ready now you reap the benefits later in the season! No battling traffic" No long lines at the stores. Less tension" More peace of mind!"

Statistically September is the peak month of the hurricane season, but early and late season storms sometimes form in the western Caribbean. When this occurs (as was the case with Hurricane Paloma) the lead time for preparation can be quite short. "Donít get caught out," cautions Afflick. "Set aside enough food and water for 5 to 7 days. If you have a generator try to get it serviced and check your shutters, sometimes rust and debris can accumulate in the tracks and this sometimes makes them hard to install." Other suggestions include checking on insurance policies to ensure they are current, removing debris from the yard and trimming back trees.

In the lead up to the National Day of Preparedness, members of staff from Hazard Management Cayman Islands have been handing out Hurricane Preparedness Information Kits on the weekends to customers at various local hardware stores. Participating stores include Cox Lumber Company, A.L. Thompsonís, Kirk Home Centre and Uncle Billís. If you havenít already got your information kit they are available at the HMCI Office at Cayman Corporate Centre or on the website