Get prepared for hurricane season in the Cayman Islands.
Hurricanes are a real threat in the Cayman Islands, and they can cause property damage. However, with some preparation, you can minimize the storm’s impact should it directly hit Cayman. August and September are when we experience the most hurricanes in Cayman so begin now in June to get ready. Here’s what you need to know.
6 Steps to get prepared for this hurricane season in Grand Cayman.
- Think about where you will stay in cPlan your evacuation route well ahead of time.
Decide if you will stay on an island or shelter in place, whether it is your home or a shelter. Consider your pets and secure essential papers. (Most of which should be on the cloud already)
- Purchase your emergency supplies before a named storm.
If you have lived in Grand Cayman, there is always a mad rush to buy water and supplies at Kirks Grocery, Fosters, or Hurleys. AL Thompsons Home Depot and Kirks’s Home Center always have lineups. It also helps with the budget if you pick up a few things for your hurricane supply closet. Here are a few valuable items for your hurricane “go bags”:
Fill up your car and gas cans.
Make sure your generator works.
Park your car on higher ground
Extra batteries and make sure they are fresh.
Flashlights and the ones you wear on your forehead are handy.
Candles or lamps with fuel
Materials and tools for home repairs such as heavy plastic sheeting, plywood, a hammer, wrench, nails or screws, gloves, and proper shoes for cleanup.
Prescription drugs and others such as pain reliever antacids etc.
2 week supply of drinking water, that is 1 gallon per person/day)
Fill up bathtubs and bins for water for drinking.
Non-perishable food that you don’t have to refrigerate or cook powdered milk.
Paper plates and cutlery
Can opener and duct tape
First-aid supplies, hand sanitizer, whistle, bandages, toilet paper, garbage bags
Radio battery or solar powered
Fans battery or solar powered
Reading material and games for the children
Solar battery rechargers keep cell phones and the internet working.
Stock an ice chest for drinks so you don’t have to open the fridge.
- Update your inventory of your personal property.
Take pictures or videos when possible, and make sure you update your homeowner’s insurance. That is the insurance for your items, not covered under the strata insurance. Make sure these essential documents are stored in the cloud.
- Review your insurance policies.
As of 2023, most insurance policies in Cayman are 20-40% higher than last year. Make sure you are not under-insured. Contact your insurance broker to ask questions and ask about what your current policy will cover or need to expand your policy.
- Protect your home from winds and flooding.
Hurricane-force winds can turn anything material not locked down into missiles that break windows and doors. Trim your coconut trees! In many cases, property damage from a hurricane happens after the windstorm when the rain comes into the structures through broken windows, doors, and openings in the roof. Some suggestions you can start now are:
- Trim weak branches and trees that could fall on your house.
- Install hurricane shutters to protect your windows from damage. Or you can nail plywood panels over your windows. A good idea is to buy and storm the plywood before a storm.
- Ensure your exterior doors are wind-rated to withstand strong hurricane winds and have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock at least one inch long.
- Sliding doors should be hurricane impact rated or, if not then, covered with shutters or plywood. Do not tape the X on the window; it does nothing.
- Upgrade your garage doors and tracks to withstand wind pressure and impact protection. Allowing the wind to enter your home will affect the rest of the home’s structure and your roof.
- If you have a shed or any smaller outbuildings, ensure you can secure it against high winds.
- Protect your place of business.
Hurricanes will affect your work and businesses, so be prepared. Follow all the steps you would like to protect your home above. Keep all electronics up and out of flood area and seal with plastic. By now, we have all learnt that physical files are useless when wet, so upload all essential documents to the cloud.