Training in First Aid, CPR and AED will prepare you to be of help to others and yourself in the event of an accident, or a medical crisis until help can arrive. The Cayman Islands Red Cross offers an excellent program that will help you to help others and yourself.
This may be an odd tip, but, many residents of our fair islands do not know how to swim and that’s not a good thing. First of all they are missing out on a great way to stay in shape and second of all, when you are surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and swimming pools it just makes sense. There are plenty of learn to swim programs on island including for infants, youths and adults. The Swim School and Sky Blue Aquatics are just two places that offer swimming lessons for all ages.
So now that you know how to swim, take it one step further and take a course in basic water rescue. Even if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time hanging by the pool at your place or at the beach, you never know when you might need to help rescue someone.
While almost everyone is given information from a variety of sources on how to put together their ‘hurricane’ kit, it’s a good idea to keep that kit in place and up to date even when it’s not hurricane season. We recommend you also put together a small one in a backpack and keep it in your car or in your office at work.
Know where your electrical, gas, and water shutoff valves are. Even if you are a tenant in a condo, it’s important to know where these valves are so that you can turn them off prior to a natural disaster or even if you have a leaking faucet.
We live in an area where power goes out fairly regularly and the surge when the electricity comes back on causes significant wear and tear if not downright damage to your electrical equipment. This makes it easy to turn everything off until the power is restored and you can control turning your devices back on.
If you have animals, get them microchipped. Almost all vets offer microchipping services and they have the ability to track an animal back to its owner if the animal is lost. Your fur babies are part of your family, microchipping will help to ensure their safety.
Flashlights, don’t leave home without one. It seems obvious that you should have a flashlight or two in your home, but have you considered carrying one in your car and keeping one in your desk at work? Again, during rainy season the electricity is prone to going out and not always when you are in your home. Having plenty of flashlights (have at least one in your house for every member of your household plus extra batteries) will ensure you’re able to find your way until the power comes back on.
Check out the Cayman Prepared website which is chock full of useful information, not only during storm events but also during other natural disasters. It’s the Cayman Islands National Emergency website and it has everything related to emergencies within the Cayman Islands. It’s also a great resource for information on how to prepare for natural disasters.
Attach heavier furniture, such as dressers, night stands, entertainment units, to the wall. If you are a renter, you may have to ask your landlord to do this. Trust us, this is an excellent precaution. A full dresser with all of its drawers pulled out is a toddler’s dream and a parent’s nightmare when it all comes crashing forward. A few bolts through the back of the dresser into the wall will make a world of difference. This is also an important tip that’s useful during an earthquake.
Anchor heavy outdoor planters into the ground or concrete or put them on dollies that allow you to roll them inside during hurricanes. As heavy as these objects may seem to be, they are easily tossed around during a category 4 or 5 storm. Not to mention, you’ll want to save your plants from being demolished.
Did you know you can store water proof outdoor furniture in your swimming pool during a hurricane? You’ll still be able to use your pool water for things like flushing your toilets until water is restored and you have a safe place to store your furniture.
Go light on the alcohol during the hurricane party. Alcohol and natural disasters aren’t a good mix. While it’s tempting to help relieve the stress of the storm raging outside your door by knocking back a few drinks, alcohol will actually raise your blood pressure and pulse rate and make you less able to respond to any emergency that might arise during the storm.
Did you know that wearing polarized sunglasses when driving in the rain during the day will help you see better? Polarized sunglasses help block the horizontal bits of scattered or reflected light (caused by things like rain and fog) making it easier to focus and see.
Instagram and Facebook makes it fun to share your travel adventures but you may want to avoid sharing those snaps you took until after you return. Advertising that you aren’t at home and are off on far flung adventures may leave your home vulnerable to burglary. If possible, have a trusted friend hang out at your place while you are away to keep the place secure.
Learn how to use that fire extinguisher you wisely purchased for your space. Most people have never used one (thankfully) and may not be prepared to know the steps to use the extinguisher safely, nor where to point the retardant for maximum effectiveness. There are several companies on island that specialize in fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems. Give them a call or pop in and ask for a demonstration on how to use a model like the one you have.
Candles, aromatherapy diffusers and incense burners usually involve a flame. While these add a wonderful ambience to your living space they also help you relax and you might just fall asleep. It’s never a good idea to fall asleep with open flames burning so be sure to extinguish them before you nod off.
Even the best ‘peepholes’ in doors can be got around so that people can look through them. If you have one on your front door, consider taping over it just to be safe. If you are staying at a hotel or resort that has peepholes in their doors, assume that they can be used to look into your room and ask the Front Desk to have a piece of tape put over it during your stay.
Make sure a family member or a trusted friend who might be your emergency contact knows your complete medical history including any medications you are taking and any allergies to any medications you may have had. Include any major medical events that might have occurred in your life. We recommend putting the information in a document and emailing it to the family member or friend so that they can have it at hand in case of an emergency.
Consider changing your lightbulbs out to ‘smart bulbs’ that you can operate from your phone. By being able to control your lighting when you aren’t at home you can ensure that you never waste electricity and never come home to a dark house.
Get to know the police who routinely patrol your area. Your community officers are there to help, assist and protect you. Getting to know them ensures they understand any special situations you might have that they may need to help with.