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What I wish I knew! Hurricane preparedness tips from those who’ve been there before

What I wish I knew!Hurricane preparedness tips from those who’ve been there before

Almost a week into hurricane season, we are all aware of the basic items that we must stock up on such as food, water, cash, etc. But in the event of a major storm, we could benefit from the wisdom of those who’ve been through it before. So before the lights go out, think of these helpful tips:

Go Tech! Digitize all your important documents. Keeping electronic copies of receipts, titles, insurance papers, bank information and so on, will ensure that neither wind nor water will wipe away your vital information. Store digital copies in the cloud, or email to a family member. Google Drive gives you the freedom to safely store your files and access them wherever you are, on all your devices.

Go high to stay dry. Store all your memorabilia and valuables high and in water tight containers. Losing all your family photos, children’s artwork, and other irreplaceable items can be heartbreaking. Many local home centres carry water tight boxes and other hurricane preparedness supplies.

Communication is key. Stay in contact with neighbors with battery powered walkie-talkies. By staying in touch, you can help each other through the fray. Also make a contact list; thanks to cell phones we rarely memorize numbers anymore – even our own! So go ahead and make a list (on PAPER) of important contact numbers and information – put it in a Ziploc bag to keep it safe.

Think “open and eat” meals. Make sure your food items have a long shelf life and don’t require refrigeration. Freeze dried and /or military meals are a great option as many of them have a 10+ year shelf life. Canned goods (remember to have a can opener at hand!) are perfect survival meals as are packaged items like granola bars, cereal and nuts.

Be a first responder! Consider taking a first aid course from the British Red Cross. What better way to help keep you and your family safe – not to mention being capable to respond in medical emergency during a natural disaster.

Do you know how to turn off your utilities? In a large scale flood, live wires can be deadly, so prevent a dangerous situation and know how to turn off your utilities. CUC has prepared a list of essential hurricane preparedness tips.

There is much to remember when preparing for a potential hurricane. While this is not an exhaustive list, it is a great place to start. Additionally, Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) has published the Cayman Prepared Hurricane Information Kit.

You can also visit the Cayman New Resident website for more preparedness advice.

Although the forecast is for a quiet 2015 hurricane season, it’s easy to let life get in the way of preparing for tomorrow. Ironically though, tomorrow is shaped by the things we do, or don’t do, today.

Wishing you all calm and peaceful waters!

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