Cayman Islands


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HFA National Reports

National Report 2008: Submitted

National Report 2007: National Report on the Implementation of the HFA (2007) - Cayman Islands

National Report 2006: Cayman Islands Report 2005 (Updated version Feb.4, 2006)

National Report 2005: not reported

National Platform:

No National Platform reported

HFA National Focal Point:

Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) / National Emergency and Hazard Management Agency (NEMA)

2nd Floor Cayman Corporate Centre, 27 Hospital Road, George Town, Grand Cayman

Address: P.O Box 10345, Airport Post Office, George Town, Grand Cayman

Contact person: Dr Barbara Carby, Director

Phone:(+1-345) 244-3140 / Fax: (+1345) 945-9156

E-mail: /

Alternative contact:

Simon Boxall, Public Relations / Communications Officer

Hazard Management Cayman Islands

Tel: 1 (345) 945-4624 (office), (345) 244-3145(direct); fax: 345-946-5020


Other contacts:

Cayman Islands Government, Cabinet Office

Contact Person: Ms Christina Rowlandson, policy analyst

Phone: (+1-345) 244-2208/2201 / fax: (+1-345) 946-1652;


National Hurricane Committee

Contact Person: Mr Donovan Ebanks, Chairman

Address: Deputy Chief Secretary’s Office, Government Administration Building, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Phone: (+1-345) 949-7900/244-2222


Cayman Islands Fire Department

Contact person: Mr Kirkland H. Nixon, Deputy Chair, National Hurricane Committee And Chief Fire Officer, Cayman Islands Fire Department

Address: Airport Road,PO Box 1804, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Phone: (+1-345) 949-2276/7513 / fax: (+1-345) 949-0268


Emergency Management Agency

Contact person: Mr McCleary Frederick, Deputy Director

Address: Emergency Operations Centre, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands,

Phone: (+345) 916-4236


Country profile:

Official name: Cayman Islands

Capital: George Town

Population: 44,270 (July 2005)

Density: 169 inhab/ sq Km

Total area: 262 sq km

Languages: English

Religion: United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, other Protestant, Roman Catholic

Ethnic Groups: mixed 40%, white 20%, black 20%, expatriates of various ethnic groups 20%

Government: Overseas territory of the UK, British crown colony.

Currency: Caymanian dollar

The Cayman Islands comprise three islands in the Western Caribbean. Grand Cayman is the largest and most populous, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are far smaller. The islands are mainly at risk of hurricanes and earthquakes, both of which occurred recently.

In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan pounded Grand Cayman. A national disaster was declared, two people were killed, virtually the entire population was directly affected and a large number of buildings were severely damaged. The total amount of damage and losses is estimated at around 183 % of gross domestic product. Ivan was particularly devastating because it moved slowly over the flat and therefore highly exposed land. Storm surges flooded large sections of the coast. Other recent hurricanes which have impacted the island, be it much less than Ivan, were Michelle in 2001, Gilbert in 1988 and Katrina in 1981.

Only three months after Hurricane Ivan, an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Grand Cayman on the 14th of December 2004. It was reported to be the strongest earthquake since 1900. Further tremors have occurred since then, with a quake registering 4.4 on the 20th of December 2004. No major damage occurred in either of the quakes.

The main organisation responsible for hurricane preparedness is the National Hurricane Committee. There are currently 12 committees to the National Hurricane Committee on Grand Cayman and a District Emergency Committee which directs four committees on the Sister Islands. The National Hurricane Committee is made up of senior civil servants. Civil servants and members of the community are represented in the committees to the National Hurricane Committee.

Since Hurricane Ivan, [ the Cayman Islands Government) has been very much engaged in developing its capacity for disaster reduction. A UNDP/ECLAC program on vulnerability and damage assessment has been started up in April 2005. The chief technical adviser for this program is Franklin J. McDonald. Some targets related to the programme are hazard maps for storm surges and flooding, an updated building code, a National Disaster Management and Recovery Plan, an updated shelter policy and the creation of a district level system for preparedness, response and recovery. Seismographs are being installed on all three of the islands.

Source: UN/ISRD The Americas


(Source: Matrix Final - based on national progress report for the 2007 Global Platform)

HFA P1 - Institutional and legal framework:

Establishment of the new agency “Hazard management Cayman Islands”(January,2007) The development of a national strategic framework to guide risk reduction. This document includes the priorities of the Hyogo framework

Establishment of an institutional framework including a national hazard management executive and council which will set policy. Ongoing development of legislation related to risk management.

HFA P2 - Risk identification and EWS:

Early warning system for hurricanes already exists. A seismic monitoring network is currently being established. It was expected that the country will be part of the Carribbean Tsunami warning system when that becomes operational.

Evaluation assessment for every property on Grand Cayman has been completed

Storm surge mapping of the country was in process

HFA P3 - Knowledge and education:

Public awareness programme for hurricanes. It includes brochures, booklets, use of electronic media(and in 2005 included an intervention specifically targeting 10-14 year-old)

In December 2006, the country marked its first earthquake awareness day (anniversary of the December magnitude 6.8)

HFA P4 - Risk applications:

Building code upgrading after hurricane Ivan in 2004. Every damaged structure had to be inspected and approved during reconstruction. Inspection of new buildings is compulsory and is forced. The national development plan is now under review.

Emergency shelters are being built to withstand category 5 storms and are equipped with emergency power and water.

A national assessment of living conditions is currently being undertaken

Legislation to further protect the environment is being reviewed, and the disaster-related legislation should also address issues related to protection and preservation of wetlands and other natural coastal features which reduce the risk of coastal flooding

HFA P5 - Preparedness and response:

Availability of emergency equipment for first responders and emergency management agencies.

Maintaining a functioning emergency telecommunication system, development of plans, including continuity of operational plans for government drills and exercises and training

An incident exercise has already been completed in 2007 and another is planned for May

The national hurricane plan is updated annually

Community preparedness program

Other Documents:

National Hurricane Plan

UNDP/ECLAC Workshop "Vulnerability to Natural Disasters and Damage Assessment"

Cayman-specific Information and Reports

Web Links:

PreventionWeb Country Profile - Natural Disaster - Cayman Island

EM-DAT Country Profile - Natural Disaster - Cayman Islands

ReliefWeb Countries and Emergencies - Cayman Island

National Hurricane Committee, Cayman Islands Government

Officila Website Cayman Islands Government

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