|NEMA holds two-day disaster preparedness exhibition|
|Monday, 11 June 2012 15:47|
The two-day event capped off Disaster Preparedness Week held under the theme, “Building Disaster Resilient Communities through Mitigation and Preparedness.” Director of NEMA, Captain Stephen Russell, in his opening remarks noted that over the years the agency has been relentless in its efforts to ensure that The Bahamas has the ability and is also prepared to adequately respond to any disaster.
The exhibition featured members of the disaster committee and the services they rendered to the public.
The Hurricane Season is June 1 to November 30 and according to Captain Russell, it is important that The Bahamas is prepared for any storm, which might occur. Weather experts have predicted a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season with a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane; and of that one to three will become major hurricanes.
The named storms are Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William. “This year the main focal point of the National Disaster Office has been to ensure that all Bahamians are aware of the importance of disaster preparedness and mitigation,” Captain Russell said.
In this regard, NEMA and its Disaster Committee members have been active conducting walk-a-bouts in the communities disseminating information and appearing on talk shows. And in September, NEMA will launch an essay competition and debate targeting the participating of students.
NEMA has also engaged in a number of programmes to help strengthen The Bahamas’ response to a particular disaster. Such activities held in conjunction with the US Northern Command were a series of Shoreline Water Rescue Training Courses in Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence.
The purpose of those courses was to ensure that The Bahamas have properly rescue teams in place to respond to shoreline disasters.“We must always be mindful that all potential impact of a disaster should not be taken lightly. Our level of preparedness and response to such an event could significantly impact our country or increase or minimise the loss of life. “The National Emergency Management Agency alone cannot keep you safe from disasters. It takes properly informed and prepared communities to do their part in helping to reduce the impact of hazards that are associated with disasters,” Captain Russell said.
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