|Date:||September 8, 2019|
NEMA EVENING UPDATE ON ABACO
Emergency Management Operations in Abaco
- Relief operations in Abaco are managed by the local Emergency Operations Centre; however, ground operations have been hampered because of the Hurricane’s impact on local staff.
- Support personnel are being deployed to adequately staff the Abaco EOC. The Abaco EOC is now headed by Permanent Secretary Jack Thompson.
- NGOs heading to Abaco are asked to coordinate with the EOC office for status reports and information on deployments to areas in need.
- NEMA’s plan for Mass Care and Shelter stretches from Abaco to Grand Bahama to New Providence. The plan is to set up temporary housing in the affected islands and in New Providence.
- At the moment, shelter operations are based around housing for evacuees from the Abaco Islands. Approximately 2,500 people have been evacuated from the various islands, with the majority coming from Abaco.
- 370 evacuee at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium Shelter
- 300 additional people processed at the Odyssey Aviation processing center; they will be transported to the Gym
- 60 people are processed for the Salvation Army Shelter on Mackey Street o Fox Hill Shelter is at capacity with 300 people. o The Calvary Baptist Shelter is at capacity with 60 people
- The Bain and Grant’s Town Salvation Army has availability and is working with
- We are appealing to the public to open up their homes to provide shelter to evacuees. Interested persons can contact NEMA Shelter Coordinator Leonard Cargill (823-5413 or 323-1398).
- We are confident that we will increase our shelter capacity as we already have local NGO partners who have registered with us to offer their assistance.
- We are tapping this network to also supplement the number of cots we need for our shelters.
- In Abaco, we are mobilizing resources to set up temporary housing on the ground for persons impacted by the storm, as well as relief workers who are flying in.
- NEMA is in communication with its local and international partners to implement mass sheltering options. We are finalizing locations that are adequate for this purpose. We expect to use a number of different types of shelters, including tents, container homes and possibly accommodation barges.
Civil Aviation Issues Notice on Flight Authorizations
- The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) has issued a NOTAM (Notice to Air Men) to improve the management of the airspace to prevent accidents. The saturated airspace was creating a volatile situation.
- The recent notice means airspace is restricted over Grand Bahama and the Abacos. Only aircraft providing emergency and humanitarian relief authorized by Civil Aviation are able to fly in the restricted airspace. Over 200 private planes have already been authorized by BCAA. The application form is available on line at the NEMA website: www.bahamas.gov.bs
Civil Aviation has had to clamp down on flights charging for evacuations
- No flights are currently authorized to charge fees for evacuations.
- Civil Aviation is aware of reports of commercial activity and will be revoking the flight authorizations of aircraft found to be charging fees.
- Civil Aviation staff is on the ground to monitor and identify aircraft suspected of breaching the conditions of their authorization. This includes flights that are found to be bringing sightseers instead of relief support.
- Consumer Protection will also be investigating reports from residents who have already been charged, including incidences of price gouging.
NOTE: A Briefing will also be disseminated on Grand Bahama.
For more information contact: Lindsay Thompson, Public Information Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or NEMA@bahamas.gov.bs or email@example.com
Contacts: 242-322-6081/5 or 242-361-5569 or 242-376-2042
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is a Bahamas Government agency, which operates under the authority of The Cabinet Office.
Vision: An organization that anticipates the potential negative impacts of disasters and emergency situations and develops effective and efficient plans, procedures and systems to minimize such impacts, by relying on sound principles of disaster management, community participation and inter-agency collaboration.
Mission: To reduce the loss of life and property within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by ensuring that adequate preparedness and mitigation measures, and response and recovery mechanisms are established to counteract the impact of natural, man- made and technological hazards.