November 19, 2019

Cayman: Minister’s Remarks – International Day for Disaster Reduction

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Sunday, 13 October is the United Nation’s International Day for Disaster Reduction. The theme this year is Build Strong.

The Minister for Financial Services and , Hon. Tara Rivers JP, has recorded a message to mark this day, which can be viewed using the below link:

A transcript of the message is also published for reference – see below:

Honourable Tara Rivers, Minister for Home Affairs

United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction October 13, 2019

On Sunday, 13 October, the Cayman Islands will join the rest of the world in recognising the United Nations’ International Day for Disaster Reduction. The theme for this year is Building Safer.

We are fortunate in the Cayman Islands to have one of the most robust building codes in the region. Legislation and mechanisms are in place to ensure that the required standards are maintained from the design stage through to construction. This safety regime is extended to commercial licensed premises which are also inspected annually for ongoing compliance.

In addition, there has been a great deal of investment in vital infrastructure and communities to improve safety and enhance resilience.

For example, flood barriers have been built around the main generator at the George Town Hospital. Concrete electricity poles have replaced many of the older wooden ones. Emergency shelters have been strengthened and more shelter spaces have been added. The Government Administration Building was also built to Category 5 standards to improve business continuity and to ensure safe operation of the National Emergency Operations Centre and other critical services.

We must all commit to building stronger today to protect ourselves tomorrow. We must take safety measures on a personal level to reduce the potential impact of a disaster on our families and properties.

I encourage everyone to conduct annual checks on your homes and businesses to ensure that you are prepared for potential hazards. Check that your property’s foundation is solid and that the structure is stable and secure, including doors and windows. Inspect your roof and guttering for any signs of damage and make any necessary repairs a priority. Check that your hurricane shutters are operational and practice installing them.

If you are embarking on a project to build a new home or other structure, ensure that you follow the prescribed codes from the inception of the project. Enlist help from the relevant Government agencies if you are uncertain what is required.

Let us give thanks for the progress that we have made in building safer communities. Let us also remember our neighbours in the Bahamas who will be working to rebuild in the months ahead. Let’s pray for God’s continued blessing and protection for our people and the Cayman Islands.


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