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Published 3rd May 2011, 12:26pm

The Cayman Islands Government will combine four yearly exercises as the islands get hit by Hurricane Stretch.

The annual Grand Cayman hurricane exercise, the annual Sister Islands hurricane exercise, a Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) aircraft emergency exercise and the PWD shuttering exercise all take place on Thursday, 5 May.

HMCI will activate the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) for the aircraft emergency and hurricane warning. This means that the National Hurricane Management Committee and the NEOC sub-committees will call in personnel from many government departments, as well as the private sector.

Stretching their staff and resources, CIAA, fire, police, emergency medical and health services, civil aviation, HMCI, and GIS will all respond during a 'hurricane watch' to Operation Lightning Strike at the Owen Roberts International Airport.

The airport will, however, remain open. There will be no disruption to access or services.

Residents may notice the ambulance traffic, 'injured' at the hospital, shutters going up on some government buildings, and other exercise-related activities.

These should serve as a reminder that the 2011 storm season begins in less than a month. As government works to prepare itself, residents should review their hurricane plans and check their supplies.