As a resident of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Ashu Bhandari is no stranger to hurricanes. In fact, Ashu Bhandari was the CEO of a multi-national business that was directly affected by many hurricanes in the region. One hurricane he experienced, Hurricane Ivan, had a massive economic impact on the Cayman Islands.
Hurricane Ivan was a category-five hurricane which passed within 30 miles of Grand Cayman in September 2004. It has been regarded as one of the most powerful hurricanes to strike the Caribbean. The storm resulted in widespread electrical outages in Grand Cayman and caused many residents to temporarily lose housing. More than 400 people received treatment for injuries and two people lost their lives. In total, more than 80 percent of the island’s housing stock experienced some damage. The economic impact of the hurricane reached an estimated $3.4 billion.
Following Hurricane Ivan, the Cayman Islands took steps to make the country better prepared for future natural disasters. This has included building sea walls to protect roads as well as the creation of a hurricane plan for the nation.