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Published 12th May 2011, 2:47pm

Get prepared now! Forecasters expect an active 2011 Atlantic hurricane season and residents need to take steps to ensure their preparedness.

When Cayman is impacted by a major hurricane, residents will likely find themselves without immediate access to supermarkets, gasoline, banks, running water, electricity and many of the other items they have grown accustomed to in their daily lives. HMCI Director McCleary Frederick points out that realistically, it could be a week or more before the flow of normal goods and services are restored if we are impacted by a major cyclone. “Minimize your dependence on Government, family or friends to support you in the aftermath of a storm, begin taking the steps needed to get prepared.”

National Day of Preparedness is being celebrated on May 16, 2011 and residents are urged to update their family plan, restock their first aid kit and supplies of non-perishable food.

“If you have a generator get it serviced and check your shutters, sometimes rust and debris can accumulate in the tracks and this can make 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.

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 short. "Don’t get caught out, set aside food and water for 5 to 7 days.”

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. Thompson’s, Kirk Home Centre and Progressive Distributors. If you get ready now you reap the benefits later in the season! No battling traffic, no long lines at the stores, less tension and more peace of mind!

If you haven’t already received your information kit they are available at the HMCI Office at Cayman Corporate Centre or on the website www.caymanprepared.ky;