An exercise to test the revised National Hurricane Plan began last
night and will run through Thursday, National Hurricane Committee
Chairman Donovan Ebanks said Monday.
“It’s aimed at having all
the sub–committees walk through the Plan to make sure everyone
understands what it is they’re supposed to be doing,” Mr. Ebanks said.
“We expect [the exercise] will reveal some changes that need to be
made. Some glitches are to be expected.”
Once the changes are
made, the revised National Hurricane Plan is scheduled to be unveiled
to the public on 4 July, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts
At the Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Mr. Tibbetts talked about the National Hurricane Plan.
a lot of work reviewing, reformatting and in some cases redistributing
responsibilities, the plan in complete,” he said. “Key areas not
provided for in the old plan have been addressed.”
One area addressed dealt with assigning response teams from all of the districts in the Cayman Islands.
Another dealt with initial road clearance and debris removal, which will be coordinated with local heavy equipment operatoMr.
Ebanks said some National Hurricane Committee sub–committees had been
reconfigured since last year, and others – like the one dealing with
debris removal – were new.
Mr. Tibbetts said the changes have improved the National Hurricane Plan.
understand that in our islands hurricane preparedness will always be a
work in progress,” he said. “It will never be absolutely perfect. As
experience varies, so too will the needs.
“But I believe [the Cayman Islands] is more ready than they ever have been to respond to the impact of a major [storm] system.”
Mr. Tibbetts said every district except for Bodden Town will have at least one hurricane shelter available this year.
government is in the process of repairing the Bodden Town Civic Centre
– which was severely damaged during Hurricane Ivan – but even when the
work is completed, it will not be a Class A shelter
“It can’t be
used as a Class A shelter simply because of its location,” Mr. Tibbetts
said, noting that as a Class B shelter, it could be used as a
post–disaster shelter or possibly as a pre–storm shelter in the case of
lower strength hurricane.
In the future, all government schools
and the government office accommodation buildings will be built to
withstand Category 5 hurricanes, Mr. Tibbetts said.
important from a tourism standpoint, the new airport facilities will
also be built to that standard,” Mr. Tibbetts said. “Should there ever
be the need to house tourists at any point in time, that will be
Mr. Tibbetts said that although the Cayman Islands
could not expect the cavalry to the rescue of the country, he believed
there would be better assistance from the overseas entities like the
United Kingdom and the other Overseas Territories should Cayman face
Mr. Tibbetts could not say what level of
assistance the UK would provide in the event of disaster in Cayman, but
he believes it will provide a more tangible response than it did after
Hurricane Ivan, depending on what Cayman’s needs were.
Excellency the Governor has shown a tremendous interest in our disaster
preparedness and has been working steadfastly with us with regard to
making sure the UK has a clear understanding of our needs,” Mr.
Tibbetts said, adding that a lot of the problem in the UK’s response
after Hurricane Ivan had to do with poor communication lines.
the process of revising the National Hurricane Plan nearing completion,
the government will turn its attention to the National Recovery Plan.
will have the Recovery Plan in place very shortly,” Mr. Tibbetts said.
“We had to have the National Hurricane Plan out the way first.”