Cayman reaches out to help BOTs in distress after Irma

| 11/09/2017 | 49 Comments
Cayman News Service

Scene of devastation on Anguilla

(CNS): The Cayman Islands has prepared a humanitarian mission that is flying to Anguilla today, Tuesday, taking teams from the Health Services Authority, Health City Cayman Islands, Department of Environmental Health and Hazard Management, as well as medical supplies, water, non-perishable food and toiletries provided by the Cayman government. Meanwhile, CUC says that seven staff members are in the Turks and Caicos Islands to help with the restoration of power there.

“Most of us know too well the devastation and despair that arises in the wake of a hurricane, especially those of us who lived through our own catastrophic storms of Ivan in 2004 and Paloma in 2008,” Premier Alden McLaughlin said in a statement Monday.

“We know well it was our neighbours from the region and our families and friends who ensured that we got much-needed supplies. It is time for us to pay it forward. Frankly, Irma could have taken a path to Cayman and who knows, in the peak of hurricane season, where the next storm is going to strike,” he added.

British Overseas Territories in Irma’s path – Anguilla, TCI and the British Virgin Islands – are now suffering its devastating aftermath, not just the physical damage and acute shortages of necessities but also a wave of looting and criminality, just as Cayman experienced after Ivan.

The initial plan for the humanitarian mission to Anguilla, where one person is known to have died, is for the relief teams to be there for two weeks. Flying in on a chartered Cayman Airways jet, they are taking supplies as well as much-needed help, according to the premier. “Once the medical teams and supplies are on the ground we will work with government officials to help ensure their safe delivery,” he said.

McLaughlin noted that the people travelling from Cayman are taking their own food and supplies as they need to be self-contained. “The last thing we want to do is to cause even more hardship on the people of Anguilla by using their supplies.”

Referring to the deployment of RCIPS officers and the police chopper to islands devastated by Irma, which was announced by the RCIPS yesterday, the premier said the helicopter and crew sent to the Turks and Caicos Islands were now providing vital reconnaissance and operational support to the authorities.

He said that the armed RCIPS officers who flew to Barbados Saturday were picked up by the Royal Air Force and taken to Tortola, British Virgin Islands, to assist with law enforcement and relief.

“BVI is very grateful for our police team on the ground. Bermuda has also sent officers and there are 100 UK marines and 55 UK police officers arriving,” McLaughlin said, noting that the BVI were seeing an improvement in security.

The CUC staff that are now on Providenciales in the TCI are part of their Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Operations department. All of them have pole climbing training and experience, the company said, “which is necessary when dealing with a shortage of vehicles and equipment following the passing of a major storm such as what was experienced by the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

They are part of a larger group of 55 people from Fortis Inc. (CUC’s majority shareholder) who arrived Sunday and are expected to remain there for about three weeks. CUC said this is the second time that they have assisted the TCI with restoration efforts, as three CUC crews went out in September and October 2008 to help after Hurricane Ike.

Meanwhile, many businesses in the BVI evacuated staff members to the Cayman Islands before Irma hit to continue business operations, the premier noted. “We are happy to continue to offer that shelter as businesses see they need to send their staff to safety,” he said.

McLaughlin said that he had participated in a video conference call with CARICOM heads of government over the weekend to get an assessment of the situation in the islands affected by Hurricane Irma, and that they were working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide needed security and humanitarian assistance to the BOTs.

“These are our Sister British Overseas Territories, and whatever we can do to assist in this their time of dire need, we will do,” he stated. But he reminded residents that we are currently in the peak of hurricane season and we all need to remain prepared.

He said, “I pray that everyone remembers how important it is to not only stock up on your hurricane supplies, but to have a plan for evacuation either off island, to a shelter, to inland property of family or friends or to stay home and ride out any potential storms. If you do decide to stay home, please ensure that your house is a safe place to remain.”

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Category: Caribbean, Local News, Science & Nature, Weather, World News

Comments (49)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I understand that we are allowing the expats in BVI to relocate to Cayman but the locals in BVI are staying home to suffer. Why aren’t those expats going back to their home country? CIG is always willing to help out a fellow expat na tru Alden

    • Anonymous says:

      and the answer is (and always) -follow the money

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know whether they are local BVI or expats, probably both. You also dont know how many are going home, probably many. Their companies have offces here is the reason they are coming. The remaining people with no Cayman connection would probably rather go somewhere else than Cayman. Most probably want to stay and start rebuilding instead of whining.

  2. the daily star says:

    I think BVI’s version of Dart, Richard Branson, might be a better choice.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well done CIG. It’s absolutely right to help our sister islands at this time. Ignore the selfish critics.

    • TCi news not reportinf says:

      CNS is there a media black out on TCI. I have not seen any pictures from them?

      CNS: I’ll see if I can find one for the next story.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am glad that we (Cayman) is able to offer assistance to our Caribbean neighbors. We need all the help we could get after Ivan the Terrible socwe know how it goes. Show some great Caymankind.

  5. Veritas says:

    What’s happened to the National Weather Service website, it’s been down for at least a week when it’s most needed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman you education system is in shambles and you waste money on stuff like this. let the UK deal with it

    • Lorrie Furniss says:

      My Dear,

      When people are happy and grateful in what they have in your own life’s, then naturally secure and the prosperous always help others. In my 37 years in Cayman, true prospering Caymanians have always been grateful and have helped others unconditionally, without reservation. And likewise, many foreigners have come to Cayman to help Caymanians. I do agree with you, that many times, Caymanians have fallen short of reciprocity and have been left holding the burden of those who are more fortunate. I know this from my own personal experiences. But I promise you, in the end true Caymanians come out on top. Be a true Caymanian and do what you can to help the underprivileged. Charity does begin at home and perhaps this is where your feelings are stemming. We should provide for our own first. But again, God helps those who help themselves. So help your own people too. Life is so much more precious when we all, including our neighbours, prosper. Be well.

      One Love.

  7. Sleepless in South Sound says:

    Good Move Mr. Premier.

    We all remember our own hardships post Ivan. And it doesn’t matter how much or how little help we received, we SHOULD help when we can. “If you find yourself in good fortune, and your neighbor falls on hard times, build a longer dinner table, and not a taller fence”.

    Blessings to all whom are overseas helping out.

  8. Judy Finch says:

    whats happening about the animals in BVI??

    • Anonymous says:

      The all escaped from prison I heard.

    • Anonymous says:

      If owners are evacuating and wish to take their pets with them to, say, Cayman, as long as they all have their vaccinations, are microchipped, are up to date with everything including Titer (rabies) and can provide paperwork to the DOA before departure and await answer from DOA, then they should be allowed entry. BVI is not rabies free but a “rabies controlled” island so unfortunately free passage would not be accepted. No leniency on banned dog breeds however: you own a pitbull, it doesn’t come in. Those pets whose owners have left them to fend for themselves, I have no words.

      • Jotnar says:

        As well as being vaccinated for rabies they need a titre test – basically a post vaccination test to make sure the vaccine worked. Most people don’t have that as it is not a usual requirement. So getting dogs and cats from BVI into Cayman not that easy at the moment. However, if you have friends in BVI with pets they can get them into the US reasonably easily, as long as they can prove the animal has been in BVI for 6 months. They can then get the vaccinations etc done there before coming on to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a priority and quite a few may actually die.

      In the Caribbean, the culture is one that puts human life and welfare on a level far above animals.
      That may surprise some as Ive seen people visit countries only to scorn the locals but kiss homeless dogs in the mouth – yet regard themselves as humanitarians.

  9. Anonymous says:

    good to see that we can help out, because we know how it feels to be impacted

  10. Shanobi says:

    Good moves Cayman….Bless up??

  11. Anonymous says:

    It’s the least we can do after they all came together to help us after Ivan… Oh wait no one helped us after Ivan!

    • Anonymous says:

      Remember Mac didn’t want help!

    • Anonymous says:

      Power crews from Canada. Bermuda cadets. Plane loads of supplies from various Caribbean countries. I could go on. You should crawl back under your rock.

      • hands are clean heart is pure says:

        Cadets are kids. Didnt see no police or soldiers from anywhere.
        Do you see the diff between a publicity stunt and a helping hand?

        • Jotnar says:

          Do you see the difference between being a decent human being and an ungrateful self centred twat? And blind as well it seems.

        • Anonymous says:

          Pathetic. Cadets are young people who are training, i.e. working and when they become older enough their rank/title changes, “Working” means exactly what is says, they are working, serving the community and gaining experience along the way so their efforts in my mind are no less significant than anyone else above the age of 18 yrs.

          During post Ivan recovery Cayman did not need foreign police officers to help out because the crime and looting was not so bad to require it. Yes, it did exist and in the beginning it was definitely occurring but not to the point life of lawlessness. Our local officers were ALL required to work 12 hrs shifts five to six days a week, some were working longer hours than this on daily basis and this was always without a rest or lunch break. I know that because I was one of the many that served almost non-stop for months. I could say a lot more but I won’t, but will ask you this; how much service did you give to the community with a glad heart?

          • Anonymous says:

            Nice you were not looted. I was, and saw it happen to many others. Revisionism does not influence people who saw what really happened, first hand. Some officers were fantastic, others disappeared. I still remember a police officers son (who was not a police officer) holding a weapon (without bullets we were informed later) in an attempt to gain back control.

            It must have been nice to only work 12 hours a shift and get a day or two off a week. My private sector experience kept me sleeping on a wet office floor for a month, working 18 hour days to at least keep up the appearance that Cayman’s financial services industry was functioning. Thanks to similar efforts by hundreds, it worked!

            We needed plenty of help. We had persons from Turks and Bermuda helping us, and as was reported by the BBC even teenagers on holiday got sworn in to help.

            I have repeated the article below (removing the name because it is irrelevant). He was amongst many of the heroes whose help we needed. Not every article was accurate – but this one was.

            Headline: Student becomes holiday officer

            xxxxxx swore in his son as a special constable to help with patrols.

            The second-year student at Loughborough University and his girlfriend xxxxxxx were on the island when it was hit by the storm, with winds up to 200mph.

            xxxxxxx took part in active armed patrols and effectively put a stop to the looting and helped to prevent disorder

            The island was left without power or water, and there was looting at shops in the capital, George Town.

            xxxxxxxx , the operational police commander during the emergency, was short-staffed as some of his officers were unable to report for duty.

            He said: “xxxxxxxxxxxxxx was really keen to help out in any way he could, so I swore him and xxxxxxxxxxxx in as special constables.

            “xxxxxxxx took part in active armed patrols and effectively put a stop to the looting and helped to prevent disorder.

            “xxxxxxxxx played her part by helping local families who were in need.”

            xxxxxxxxx, who ended up on patrol with a machine gun, said: “I had to come to a decision. I was a bit uneasy about it.”

            Leicestershire’s deputy chief constable David Lindley agreed to present xxxxxxxxxxxx with a commendation from the Cayman Islands Police.

            Mr Lindley said: “I was delighted to be asked to present this award to xxxxxxx. He was faced with an immense challenge which he completed admirably.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Not cadets. Bermuda Regiment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember a group of Bermudians coming to Cayman to help us move debris, etc. Let’s not forget what we endured and the people who sacrificed their time to help us during that dark period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not true there were electrical and phones teams from Canada posted in the islands for several weeks. I spoke to quite a few myself and they all said samething, they were glad to help out. They were the ones who working alone with teams from Cable & Wireless and CUC turned on electriciry and phones lines on my road. They were hard to miss; red and rosy skinned, light brown to blonde hair with and heavy Canadian accents.

    • Caymanian says:

      Convenient memory loss. Many came to help us despite Mac turning people away in the end we had tons of help

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of us don’t need to receive help in order to give it!

      I give my highest respect for those who are doing what they can to help without expecting anything in return.

      Well done Cayman! Truest form of love right there.

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in the states & I sent a $200. care package down right after Ivan to GC filled with tarps, toiletries, and baby clothes. So, at least one person helped after Ivan…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done Cayman!

    Anyone seen that promised list from the FCO yet?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Time for CIG to cut through immigration and business licensing tape so that our BOTC family from BVI, Anguilla and TandC can relocate, albeit temporarily, to the Cayman Islands.

    Most major Cayman financial service providers alsk have Caymanian’s working in there.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe they have already cut the tape by allowing Enterprise City to provide that service. No need to reinvent the wheel and get government departments involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do know that most of them are already here, right?

      • Anonymous says:

        They are all landed as visitors without right to work!

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely untrue. Immigration are acting impeccably – and permissions to work (including without paying fees) are readily being given in appropriate circumstances..

          • Anonymous says:

            What about the trade and business licence and LCCL law? They will be in breach until they have one. Cabinet has no power under this TBL law to waive any provisions of the TBL.

            Any firm for example doing BVI law needs to comply.

        • Great thinker says:

          Its good to know that Cayman Islands can offer help, however we still have a lot of suffering and high crime to take care of, so we cant lose focus as they are similliar situations except for the destructiveness. Just read what the NAU is facing. Just a suggestion, instead of Dart still investing on West Bay Rd why doesn’t he link with the heads of the affected countries/islands and invest to rebuild homes etc maybe he would be more appreciated for his anthropological services. I implore you Mr Dart! West Bay Rd is not an emergency. Just look at the pictures of these affected countries/islands.

        • Jotnar says:

          Actually they landed with permission to work on BVI clients and cases, just not to do Cayman work.

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