A Cabinet meeting held on Sunday night to discuss Hurricane Irma. Photo: BIS
AS HURRICANE Irma approaches, the National Emergency Management Agency announced it plans to ship donated emergency supplies from the United States to the country’s Emergency Relief Warehouse in Inagua.
The emergency relief equipment was donated by the United States through its embassy in Nassau and the United States Northern Command.
The items, which were delivered to The Bahamas via eight 40ft containers, are to equip the recently constructed Emergency Relief Warehouse in Mathew Town.
The warehouse, which was officially handed over to the Bahamas government on June 22, is also a gift from the US government, constructed at a cost of $1.8 million.
The equipment and supplies valued at an estimated $600,000, includes among other items: 5kw and 10kw generators; berthing kits; cots; water containers; fuel containers; blankets; tools; power cords; pallet stacker; water purification tablets; radios and flashlights; tents; shower/shelter combo; water canteens and field toilets.
Captain Stephen Russell, director of NEMA, confirmed that the equipment and supplies would be transported to the Inagua warehouse within the coming days via HMBS Lawrence Major, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force’s roll on/roll off vessel.
This vessel has made an invaluable contribution to the logistics and transportation efforts in support of the National Disaster Response and Recovery programme since its commissioning in 2015, immediately in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin. “The equipment (and supplies) are earmarked for the islands of the southern Bahamas, namely Inagua, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, and southern Long Island. And is aimed at strengthening the preparedness and response capabilities of the communities in those island prior to, during and in the aftermath of any emergencies,” Capt Russell said.
The delivery of the equipment to the Mathew Town warehouse will further strengthen NEMA’s strategic emergency relief warehouse programme, with warehouses that are equipped in the northern, central and southern Bahamas.
“The aim is to ensure that emergency equipment are readily available, to provide a timely response in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster,” Capt Russell said.
A spokesperson from the US Embassy said: “The cooperation between the US and the Bahamas runs deep. The United States proudly donates over $600K in disaster relief supplies to the Bahamas to fill the three US-donated disaster relief warehouses in Nassau, Freeport, and Great Inagua. These supplies will be used to assist the National Emergency Management Agency as they prepare for storms or other natural disasters in the Bahamas and the region.”
Irma is expected to affect the Bahamas by Friday morning.