(CMR) The Government of the Cayman Islands has issued a Hurricane Watch for the Cayman Islands. A hurricane watch means that the Cayman Islands could begin experiencing hurricane conditions within the next 48 hours.
At 4 pm the center of Tropical Depression 9 was located near latitude 14.7 ° north and longitude 71.3° west. This puts it at 737 miles SE of the Cayman Islands. The system is moving west-northwest at near 15 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour.
On the current forecast track, Tropical Storm force winds are expected to start on Grand Cayman on Sunday night at 9 pm and on the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman at 11 pm.
Director, Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) said, “Following a meeting of the National Hazard Management Council this afternoon, the decision was made to issue the Hurricane Watch, which means that tropical storm force winds are expected to impact the Cayman Islands within 48 hours. “
“While the current forecast calls for a lower-end hurricane, the possibility of rapid intensification exists, and as we saw in Tropical Storm Grace, we could still experience very powerful wind gusts. The NEOC will be stood up at 4 pm on Sunday. We don’t take the decision to activate the full national response mechanism lightly, but we believe it is better to be over-prepared and pare back if necessary,”the Director of HMCI said
What does a Watch mean?
Hurricane-force winds are likely to strike within 48 hours.
During this phase of preparation, the public is advised to do the following:
-Put up shutters or board up windows, glass doors and skylights.
-Wedge sliding glass doors and windows to prevent them from lifting from
-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.
-Secure all construction sites and materials.
-Boat owners are encouraged to be proactive, and heed storm warnings, avoid the water and coastal waterways and start making preparations.
-Sterilise bathtub, pans, jugs and bottles and fill with water.
-Turn the 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 story, move furniture and valuables to upper floors.
-Pack important documents such as passports, birth certificates etc. in plastic pouches and have then ready in the event you need to leave your house hurriedly.