First of all, I should preface this by noting that Ivan was the only major hurricane to hit Cayman since records began in 1851… BUT, if the next big one comes, the experience after Ivan was that the US based media didn’t pay us any attention after the storm passed, and that included websites.
For several days the only source of information for friends and family overseas was StormCarib. This website is the brainchild of Gert van Dijken, who was fed up with poor coverage of the impact on Caribbean islands of the passing of major storms.
Directly after Ivan, StormCarib was it, and I personally (and many people I know in Cayman) are very thankful for everything Gert did. On behalf of The Reef, I quickly invited Gert and his family down to The Reef for a free vacation this summer (he ain’t scared of Hurricane Season!), and I hope he can take advantage of this soon.
Meanwhile, for anyone thinking about coming this summer to Cayman but scared of Hurricanes ? (scaredy-cats !), the deals are great this summer, with the Cayman Summer Splash being particularly focussed on families.
With the money you save, you can take out trip insurance, but also note that at The Reef (and I belive the Westin also does this) we have had a Hurricane Guarantee in place since before Ivan, and it is still available here.
In addition to formal Hurricane Guarantees, in the aftermath of Ivan pretty much every hotel, condo and dive operator in Cayman stood up to the plate and refunded monies…. it took a while for most of us, but as soon as we got credit card machines that weren’t full of seaweed and a phone line that worked, we were punching refunds into those machines as fast as we could….. happily though, there were many of our loyal guests who simply said “no worries, save your cashflow, I’ll just take a rain check to 2005″.
I’m rambling here, but at that time (just a few weeks after Ivan), many of you up in the States (and elsewhere) said and did things like that to make us really feel like family. Trust me, every small show of care and affection make a BIG difference to us down here at the time.
Ok, enough rambling for one day.