With Caribbean and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures being reported as warmer than normal, Colorado State University researchers said that the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season will have activity above the 1991-2020 average. In addition, the researchers anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.
In terms of activity, researchers stated in an April 2022 report that they estimate that that 2022 will have 9 hurricanes (average is 7.2), 19 named storms (average is 14.4), 90 named storm days (average is 69.4), 35 hurricane days (average is 27.0), 4 major (Category 3-4- 5) hurricanes (average is 3.2) and 9 major hurricane days (average is 7.4).
The predictions are important for Caribbean nations as hurricane season will commence soon, typically in June and lasting until the end of November. Rather than waiting for the start of the hurricane season, however, Caribbean countries should prepare in advance, perhaps staging hurricane preparedness exercises during the month of May 2022. Businesses may also wish to consider whether it is a good time to update business continuity plans or disaster recovery plans.
When it comes to the Cayman Islands, the lead agency responsible for the national comprehensive disaster management programme is Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI). HMCI has guidance available on its website for visitors and residents in Cayman, which members of the public should take an opportunity to review on HMCI’s website at https://www.caymanprepared.gov.ky/. Residents should also get familiar with where shelters are normally located and who to reach out to for help, including their Community Emergency Response Team, which should be established in communities throughout Cayman.
The other thing that may complicate hurricane season is, of course, COVID-19. An outbreak of the disease could easily happen if a major storm were to hit Cayman, displacing hundreds of people and, perhaps, resulting in some healthy people being housed in facilities side-by-side with COVID-19 infected people, impacting community spread.
Hopefully, what the Cayman Islands and other Caribbean nations will experience this hurricane season will be a lot less than predicted for the region by the researchers at Colorado State University. In the meantime, residents must prepare in advance and make any contingency or back up plans.