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Stay Calm: What to do when a Storm Threatens

Stay Calm: What to do when a Storm Threatens

Before the storm strikes

  • If you did not do everything you needed to do in the alert and watch do them now!
  • Close curtains and blinds to minimise the danger of flying glass if windows are broken.
  • Put your food and other hurricane supplies in plastic bags and containers so they won’t get wet.
  • Turn off outside gas cylinders and disconnect gas pipes.
  • Bring pets indoors. If you have to leave home and cannot find accommodation for your pets, leave them indoors along with food and litter. Fill the bathtub and basin with water and brace the bathroom door open so
    they will have drinking water if water containers get knocked over. Make sure they are wearing identifying collars with me tal/plastic tags.
  • If you intend to stay with relatives or friends, or to take pets to a kennel, go now.
  • Shelters will usually open during this phase. If you intend to go to a shelter, listen for announcements that the one nearest you is open. Before you leave, turn off the main power and fuel supply and take the items
    you have prepared.
  • Park vehicles inside the garage or away from trees
  • If you are remaining at home, go indoors, secure and brace external doors. You can brace an inwardswinging door by wedging a chair with the back against the door knob.
  • Stay indoors, but be ready to evacuate to a shelter or other location if your home is damaged, or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel
  • Use telephone for emergencies only.
  • Stay tuned to local media for official notices and instructions from the Hazard Management Cayman Islands.


Trying to drive through flooded roads is very dangerous!

It is hard to believe how buoyant vehicles become in water, but as little as two feet of water will carry away most automobiles. Moreover, the depth of the water may not always be obvious. The road underneath may be  washed out and you could stall or become stuck in rising water. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.


During the storm

  • Stay on the downwind (leeward) side of the house, away from windows, sky lights and doors, even if they are shuttered. High winds or projectiles could tear off shutters.
  • CUC will usually turn off the electricity just before the storm passes to protect their equipment. However, if the electricity is still on and water begins to blow into the house and settle on the floors, turn off the main breaker switch to avoid electrical accidents. However, before you touch the breaker, make sure you are not standing in water.
  • Close all inside doors. If the wind gets inside, closed doors will help stop it from entering other rooms. You can also brace inward-swinging doors by wedging a chair-back against the knob.
  • Do not go outside while the eye of the storm (an area of calm weather at the centre of the storm) is passing, unless absolutely necessary. Depending on the size of the eye and the speed at which the hurricane is  travelling, the calm weather can last for up to half an hour or more, but winds will return unexpectedly from the opposite direction, sometimes with greater force. Don’t be caught off-guard!
  • The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts and blows caused by flying glass, zinc, wood or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails or metal, and bone fractures.
  • If your roof or walls begin to fail, go to an inner room (preferably one without windows), or to a cupboard or passageway or empty bathtub or stall and shield yourself with a mattress.


ALERT – “Take Precautions”

Hurricane/tropical storm could strike within 48 hrs

  • Check emergency supplies and items for securing your home. Stock up.
  • Assess your home and make necessary repairs to roofs, etc.
  • Remove overhanging limbs and fruit from trees.
  • Decide whether you need to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter.
  • Find out which shelter is closest to you and decide how you will get there if you need to.
  • Check that your generator is in good working order, and ensure you have oil and extra gasoline
  • Make arrangements for your pets in case you have to go to a shelter.
  • Fill vehicles with gasoline and, if necessary, withdraw some cash from the bank.
  • Stay tuned to radio and local television for the latest official notices from the Hazard Management Cayman Islands.


WATCH – “Batten Down”

Hurricane/tropical storm could strike within 36 hours


  • Put up shutters or board up windows, glass doors and skylights. Wedge sliding glass doors and windows to prevent them from lifting from their tracks.
  • Bring in or securely tie down everything that could be blown away, such as outdoor furniture, potted plants, clothes racks, garden tools, garbage pans, etc.
  • Remove antennas and satellite dishes to prevent damage or loss.
  • Disconnect downspouts from cisterns and close all cistern openings.



  • Sterilize bathtub, pans, jugs and bottles and fill with water.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and open as little as possible.
  • Raise furniture, appliances and other valuables off the floor. Cover and secure with plastic sheets. If your house has more than one storey, move furniture and valuables to upper floors.
  • Pack important documents such as passports, birth certificates etc. in plastic pouches and have then ready in event you need to leave your house hurriedly.


Mobile Homes:

  • Mobile homes and trailer offices are especially vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. Do not try to ride out a storm in one of these.
  • When a storm threatens, anchor them with over-the-top, or frame, ties.
  • Pack breakables in boxes and put them on the floor.
  • Remove mirrors and tape them; wrap them and lamps in blankets and place them in the bathtub or shower.
  • Cover all windows with hurricane shutters or pre-cut plywood.
  • If a Warning is announced, shut off electricity, water, sewer and propane gas tanks. Bring inside and secure awnings, folding furniture, trashcans, flower pots and other loose outdoor objects.


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