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Cayman Islands HE The Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack Press Conference

( Sunday, August 19, 2007 -Ladies and gentlemen of the media
Good afternoon and thank you for taking the next 15 minutes to hear from the Cayman Islands as we brace ourselves for Hurricane Dean.
There is no doubt that this hurricane poses significant threat to the Cayman Islands, but having said that, I am reassured to see that residents are taking the risks posed by Dean with the utmost seriousness and preparations are all but complete now as we prepare to hunker down and ride out the storm.

Allow me now to provide a couple of high level updates:

On the Domestic Front:
• The Cayman Islands National Emergency Operations Center has been opened and has oversight of all preparations
• 53,000+ residents have been diligent with their preparations, fuelled by experiences with Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
• In the recovery effort that followed that storm (Ivan), many residents reinforced their homes. Residential and commercial construction is based upon the Islands building code requirements. In turn, these requirements are based on the International Code Council’s group of codes. ICC’s codes are used in at least 41 US states, as well as in Washington, DC.
• An evacuation order for Little Cayman was enacted, effective today.
• Shelters will be open as of 1 p.m. today (Sunday, 19 August).
• Total shelter space on all three islands is about 4,000.

• Law Enforcement personnel reported for duty yesterday (Saturday) at 6pm and they will ensure that a continuous strong presence of law and order exists leading up to, during and after the passage of the hurricane. Police reinforcements from other British Overseas Territories are ready to deploy to bolster numbers if necessary.
• The British Government is following up with two Royal Navy ships, a UK Disaster Management Expert and a Rapid Deployment Team that will render medical, humanitarian and disaster assistance following the passage of the storm.

▪ The government tourism officials and private sector partners working closely with all airlines partners facilitated the departure of almost 6,000 persons who chose to leave. Since midday Thursday, Cayman Airways has operated 33 international flights and facilitated a further 7 international charter flights. Additionally, some foreign carriers sent in larger planes and operated extra flights. Rigorous preparedness planning, excellent response capability and a dedicated National Flag carrier are a few of the differentiating factors of our tourism infrastructure, and why we continue to be one of the leading Caribbean destinations recommended by travel agents for late summer travel. We look forward to welcoming visitors again as soon as it is safe to do so.
▪ The Cayman Islands’ financial services sector serves global clientele and is economically very significant. As such, both government agencies and private sector firms have comprehensive business continuity plans in place, and these have all been activated.
▪ Our financial services industry, which consists of local and multi-national professional services firms in the legal and accounting fields, as well as branches of regional and global financial services firms in the funds, insurance and banking sectors, is fully committed to continuity of service to our global partners and clients.
▪ For government agencies that support our industry, such as our industry regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, the Maritime Authority and the Stock Exchange, and key departments such as the Registry of Companies, preparedness is critical. Contingencies involve the use of robust business continuity/disaster recovery centres to secure data and ensure fully operational and connected working environments in the event of damage to physical offices.
▪ Many of the larger professional services firms that are housed in state-of-the-art, secure commercial buildings are utilising their offices as shelters for staff and their families. A number of firms have, as a precaution, moved operations, staff and their families to other sites within their office networks. Others are reserving evacuation for post-event scenarios, depending on the severity of Hurricane Dean’s impact. Similar to the public sector, many private sector firms are also employing business continuity/disaster recovery centres.
▪ With business continuity plans fully operational it is anticipated that, similar to other storm threats that the Cayman Islands has experienced, our financial services industry will be able to continue to meet the needs of the global markets it serves with minimal disruption.
Ladies and gentlemen, again, thank you for making yourselves available to us for this brief but important news update from the Cayman Islands.

We commit to providing you with factual, timely and accurate information during the passage of the storm if possible; but most certainly as soon as it is safe to talk to you again once the all clear has been given.

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