Commander Stephen Russell, Interim Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Wednesday that he is pleased with the level of performance by the Emergency Support Function personnel over the past week during Tropical Storm Fay.
“I am pleased with the response of the agencies that participated in the partial activation process. The agency will conduct a review of its performance over the past five days and seek to make improvements where necessary,” Commander Russell said.
On Saturday, August 16, Commander Russell partially activated the National Emergency Operations Centre and galvanized a “core team” of personnel at NEMA’s headquarters in the Churchill Building to monitor the storm Tropical Storm Fay as it threatened The Bahamas.
The team comprised representatives from the Department of Meteorology, the Department of Social Services, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Security, and other relevant agencies.
The team met throughout the period at NEMA and reviewed reports from their respective agencies on the level of preparedness in the face of the storm. Family Island administrators were also contacted, particularly those under tropical storm watch and were advised to ensure residents heed the alerts and watches issued by the local Meteorological Office.
By noon Tuesday, August 19, all alerts were discontinued for The Bahamas, particularly the islands of Andros, The Berry Islands, New Providence, Eleuthera, Bimini, Grand Bahama and Abaco.
Tropical Storm Fay caused widespread flooding in low-lying areas, and gusty winds at times. Residents were advised to take the necessary precautions to secure property.
The vision of NEMA is for The Bahamas to be recognized as a leader in comprehensive, integrated and effective emergency management with communities that is aware of and prepared to cope with disasters.
“The National Disaster Management Agency is committed to taking proactive and timely measures to prevent or reduce the impact of hazards on the Bahamian people, its natural resources and the economy, through collaboration with national, regional and integrated agencies,” according its Mission Statement.