As people grow more concerned about climate change and rising sea levels, one of the best ways to prepare for hurricane season is to purchase “high and dry” land. High and dry land means that the terrain is well above flood surge.
How High and Dry Is Paradise Gardens Subdivision?
Paradise Gardens Subdivision is about 16 to 20 feet above storm surge, as the flood plane is 10 feet. Wet season typically runs from May through October, while hurricanes can occur from June through November. For those who buy land right on the waterfront, this could be problematic.
DID YOU KNOW?
“Cayman is a small, flat island so sea levels can rise during storm surge. In the event of a major hurricane (category three or above), move to at least 10ft above sea level (the storm surge during Ivan was measured at 8-10ft). If possible find higher ground to park your car and boat.” [i]
What are Hurricanes?
Hurricanes are areas of low air pressure that form over oceans in tropical climate regions. They are large storms that form over the warm ocean waters when there are large pressure and temperature differences between the warm water and the clouds.
Many hurricanes cause severe flooding. However, a hurricane weakens rapidly after it strikes land. In fact, while a hurricane could spin very fast when it moves across warm water, it slows down and dies away if its path takes it over land. A hurricane that turns out to sea will die out when it reaches colder water or cooler air. [ii]
Of course, there are many things one can do to prepare (we can’t prevent) for hurricane season. You can certainly tap into the information at Cayman Prepared, the Cayman Islands National Emergency website. They have a downloadable PDF called Cayman Prepared Hurricane Information. One of the many things they recommend is to find out the elevation of your area from the Lands and Survey Department.
Also, the Cayman Resident has some great tips. They say, “If your home is strong, elevated and away from the coastline, then it is probable the best place to ride out the storm”. They also state, “Low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding are at particular risk.” i
Why Buy High and Dry Land in the Cayman Islands?
You love the ocean which is why you want to purchase land near it. The beaches at Beach Bay are minutes away from Paradise Gardens Subdivision by car. Building a house on high and dry land could help you enjoy the best of both worlds without the same risk of water damage.
Or being directly in the path of a potential storm surge. Storm surge is like a huge wave that powerfully mows down whatever is in its path. Plus, on-the-coast hurricane force winds could make beachfront properties more vulnerable than those on high and dry land.
Less Risk of Water Damage
Water is often of the most difficult site issues to understand and predict. Surface water, including runoff from heavy rains might cause erosion and floods unless properly managed. Subsurface water could wreak havoc with septic systems, often in the spring or rainy season when the water table is highest.
Both these issues may be dealt with through appropriate drainage techniques. However, you are ahead of the curve if your home is on high and dry land rather than in the path of a potential seasonal natural disaster.
Security That You Need
One of the ways to protect valuables is to find a secure location on dry land to keep important documents, photos, equipment and other possessions. With global weather tracking you generally have 12 to 24 hours of advance warning before a hurricane. Also, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS) tracks the local weather in real time.
Living on high and dry land may give you more feeling of security, time to bring a small boat inland if appropriate. Plus, the shopping plaza is only a five-minute drive away from the subdivision.
Building a Home? Now is the Time to Make in Hurricane Proof
One of the great things about buying a lot at Paradise Gardens Subdivision is you get to build a ‘hurricane proof’ house. Some of the things you could do, as per the Cayman Prepared KIT are as follows. [iii]
- If you are building a gable end roof it is crucial to make sure that it is properly braced
- Make sure your builder installs hurricane straps wherever roof beams join each other or join the walls
- Ensure that exterior doors open outwards. It is harder for them to blow in.
- For windows, French or sliding doors, choose an impact-resistant glazing such as laminated glass or install hurricane-rated shutters
- When installing a garage door, buy a specially reinforced one and have it installed by a professional
Take the Next Step
Join a growing community who love the ocean but want to live out of reach of the tide, especially during hurricane season. Find out how you can purchase high and dry land in the beautiful Paradise Gardens Subdivision.
[iii] http://www.caymanprepared.ky/portal/page/portal/hmchome (see the KIT)