The Basic Girl’s Guide to Tropical Storms

Nothing says welcome back to Cayman like back to back tropical storms! I wasn’t even out of quarantine when Tropical Storm Grace pummeled her way through the island and now, just 9 days later, it’s time for tropical storm Ida. All of this Mother Nature turmoil has me feeling like a seasoned islander, but let’s be honest…my survival skills are probably on par with that of a first year Girl Scout. (They’re called Daisies). That being said, if you actually earned all of your badges in girls scouts (or are looking for truly pertinent storm information) then just stop reading here. If you’re a basic girl like ME who generally underestimates weather and thinks it’s all going to be A-OK, then this is the article for YOU. Read on as I unload some ill-advised tropical storm guidance for all you basic girls.

(For factual, helpful information visit Cayman Resident :))

Don’t you dare call it a hurricane

For whatever reason, this distinction (or lack thereof) seems to stir up some controversy. To stay on the safe side, just refer to it as a ‘storm’ and that way you don’t ruffle any feathers with those who get rather defensive around the labeling of natural phenomena.

Prepare for supermarket MAYHEM

I haven’t seen so many people out shopping since Black Friday in the states or Lake Delton Walmart in the summertime. It’s anxiety-inducing is what it is. My first thought is, “what in the world are these people buying?” And my second is, “Should I be buying something right now?” I was at Hurley’s during this madness and people had LOADED shopping carts overflowing with god knows what and I was standing in line holding one pathetic salad, struggling to get the stupid lid to snap into place. I flounced off to my scooter and stored it under the seat, watching as people loaded bags and bags into their SUVs. I’ve never felt more out of the loop. All this to say that if you have the essentials at home, then avoid the supermarkets at all cost. They will make you basic girls question your decision making abilities.

tropical storm

Avoid riding a moped if possible

I never paid attention to “knots” in the weather forecast before purchasing a scooter, but let me tell you, that shit will ruin you. The wind speeds start to pick up long before the storm makes landfall and Esterly Tibbits is not a fun place to be when that happens. There is nothing that makes me question my sanity like driving 10 miles under the speed limit in the shoulder, drinking in the stench from the dump. If you are like me and scootering is legit your only form of transportation, then just take it slow and steady. And if someone has the GALL to honk at you or throw a dirty look your way just tell them to f*ck off. (I’ve never done that but I could be compelled.)


The Essentials”: Snacks, wine, rock n’ roll

I get there are families out there who trying to plan for children and relatives, but that’s not us. We are basic girls and we just need to worry about ourselves. That being said, tropical storms are a time to kick back and open up a bottle of biodynamic Rioja and unearth your Lindor truffles from the freezer. (I say unearth as if I had forgotten about them. I knew exactly where they were.) Since the power is out and chances are you’re too basic to have a gas range, you’re gonna want to stock up on snacks. But if you only have wine then that will do just fine.

storm essentials

Don’t let yourself be bored even for a second

The power is likely to go out and you are not going to be sitting there twiddling your thumbs like a loser. Absolutely not. A tropical storm calls for preparation. You should be charging every single device you own and downloading movies to your laptop, preferably those featuring Bradley Cooper or maybe a young Tom Cruise. Also, if you’re an intellectual basic girl (I am) then you’ll want some books on deck. I recommend one romance, one literary classic, and probably a self-help book because let’s face it, we’ll probably encounter an existential crisis amidst the power outage. Stuck with our own thoughts…talk about terrifying.

Post about it, obvi

This is content you do not want to miss out on. Join the bandwagon with every single expat in Cayman and throw up a screen shot of the storm tracker for your Instagram. It is the basic thing to do after all.

When in doubt, just read the Women of Cayman threads

If you’re not refreshing the Women of Cayman Facebook page every 10 minutes then you are SEVERELY uninformed. (And missing out on unrivaled entertainment). Just be careful if you decide to ask a question on there as it is highly likely that your innocent inquiry will offend someone. One poor lady asked where she could get some coffee the morning after a storm and the Women CAME for her. Basically accusing her of not caring about the safety of the Starbucks baristas. I mean… the disregard, Karen.

Pretend like you are about to hydrate but then just stick to wine

There is a chance you could be without water so you should probably do something about that. I fill up a bunch of random water bottles and line them up neatly in the fridge like an elite athlete preparing for competition. Last storm I didn’t even touch them. They just sat there mocking me like, “are you gonna drink us or what?” I’ve heard of people filling up their bath tubs but something about that creeps me out. I watched too many horror movies as a child. I feel like I’m going to walk in the bathroom and find a scary woman lounging in the tub. Sorry, didn’t mean to unload my unresolved childhood trauma on you.

Discover a new use for candles

Somewhat of a revelation, we are realizing that candles are actually good for more than just ambience and pleasant aromas. Shame there isn’t a Bath and Body works in Cayman. Besides their obvious illuminating properties, they are also being used by the Women of Cayman for heating up food and water. They dedicated an entire thread to the versatility of tea lights. I haven’t tried this cooking method because it seems like a lot of work when cocoa pebbles are readily available. I enjoy candles until midnight-ish and then I just find them eerie. Power outages make me feel like Nicole Kidman in the Others, nervously pacing around my apartment with a lantern in hand.

Just do you

We’ve GOT THIS, basic girls. No one can tell us that we are unprepared or naive, because we already know that. We are living our lives for us. And just remember, even if it’s a hurricane, it’s still just a tropical storm. I mean a storm. Just a bit of rain. And some extra knots. Not the garlic kind. Okay, be safe and don’t take anything I just said seriously. For real information consult Cayman Resident. 🙂

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 Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a Wisconsin native who traded her snow boots for flip-flops in May of 2020 when I packed my whole life into two suitcases and moved to the Cayman Islands with my partner, Bryan.  I created Island Diaries as a way to document my island adventures and share about the Cayman lifestyle. A Midwest girl at heart, I bring a fresh perspective to Caribbean life, serving as a guide for locals and tourists alike on all things Cayman Islands. Whether you are local to Cayman, planning to visit, or just curious about island life, I invite you to explore Island Diaries and let this site guide you on your next island adventure!

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