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Published 15th May 2012, 11:22am

Residents are encouraged to take stock of their current level of readiness, and review and update their family plan. Cayman is vulnerable to a range of hazards, and with hurricane season running from June 1st to November 30th, it is a sensible time to restock first aid kits and supplies of non-perishable food, check shutters and trim back trees. Also, test emergency equipment such as generators and flashlights.

Decide where you will store your car during a hurricane and factor into your action plan the time to move it to higher ground. Check insurance policies to ensure they are current and that flood damage is included in your policy.

If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep to buy emergency supplies, you could find they are in very short supply or completely unavailable. Following a major impact, it is possible that it will be days or weeks before electricity and other utilities are restored. Debris could block the roads, preventing vehicles from getting in our out of your neighborhood. It is important be ready to be completely self-sufficient during that period. Help might not be able to reach you for days after a storm, so you need to plan for that.

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
  • Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Toiletries
  • 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)

Hurricanes can bring torrential rain, flooding, storm surges and devastating winds that damage homes and destroy treasured possessions. 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 life and property.

Cox Lumber Ltd, Progressive Distributors Ltd, Kirk Home Centre, Uncle Bill’s Home Improvement Centre and A.L. Thompson’s have been supporting National Day of Preparedness for many years. Each company puts together disaster preparedness kit as a prize for a local resident and offers space for HMCI staff to engage the public and to distribute disaster information kits and hazard brochures. This year five lucky winners will receive disaster preparedness kits, courtesy of Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) and the participating stores. Be safe – prepare!

For more information, please contact Simon Boxall at 916-3766