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Emergency Supplies Shipped To Inagua

A Cabinet meeting held on Sunday night to discuss Hurricane Irma. Photo: BIS

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.

Comments

The_Oracle 3 years, 1 month ago

The most worrisome part of this, is that somehow Government thinks it knows better than everyone else, and can do it all better than anyone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. Look at Houston, Private sector efforts, as in Joaquin also mobilize faster and more effectively. Always will. clogging up efforts with government mini-me and micro management does more aftermath damage than anything else. Still, we should be thankful for the donations of the U.S. Government. Pray they are used openly and fairly.

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tell_it_like_it_is 3 years, 1 month ago

With Hurricane Irma, communication is key. I've seen the weather channel saying they're still not 100% sure of the direction, though it's obvious now that The Bahamas is well within the cone of uncertainty.
So NEMA constant updates on hurricane shelters, recommended evacuations, expected storm surge levels, flooding threat, etc are needed consistently. People's lives are at risk and information is power.
Let's prayer that we all remain safe during this powerful storm.

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TalRussell 3 years, 1 month ago

Oh My Dear Comrades, how more worrisome can PM Minnis's approaching hurricane Irma's preparedness' message to the nation get - when the PM takes 'time out' from the preparedness to hop a flight to Atlanta Georgia USA to attend a 'reception party?' { You cannot make this up when even former PLP Foreign Affairs Minister "Flying'" Freddy Mitchel - did offer his own criticism the PM's trip to Atlanta on the taxpayers dimes }.

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by TalRussell

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Greentea 3 years, 1 month ago

Tell Fred to shut up and take a seat! Being PM isn't about handling one thing at a time but managing a hundred things effectively at the same time. Not that he will ever have to experience it.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

Tal is right, I'm not PM and I don't have to understand what he's doing but this travel tour doesn't seem reasonable to me.

We have soaring unemployment locally, many of these people are degreed and qualified. Why go abroad to find people WITH jobs to fill slots before doing a scan to see who's "unemployed" and looking locally? This sounds more like a move to curry election votes favour. In fact that's my major critique, it appears like they're still in campaign mode.

Secondly, there are more important things to do. He could leave this task to professional Head Hunters, it's their job to travel the world to scout talent. He doesn't have to personally appear its short of ridiculous. He has more than enough to do. Hurricane prep case in point. I understand they were scrambling yesterday to find out about infrastructure readiness. That is craziness, it's September. Shouldn't they have worked all that out already? You don't call up three days before a storm and say, "y'all ready for dis"?

It appears to me like the entire administration has no clear concept of priorities, they are doing "good" things to appear busy but not the most important things. Showing up at the press conference was a good thing, but it was completely unnecessary for the entire cabinet to show up, in fact it was ridiculous...again... it's also counterproductive. there should be a sub committee for that. Each committee member consolidates feedback from several areas.

No I'm not calling him ridiculous, I like Dr Minnis. I feel like I'm jumping up and down saying do something different and wise pleeeeaaase.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't get flying the supplies into the direct path of a cat 4/5 storm. From what I remember of ?Katrina, they flew supplies to the outskirts of the storm path so they could be close and they could move them in directly after the storm....maybe I'm wrong...maybe it's a bunker..

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sealice 3 years, 1 month ago

you gonna put them on the outskirts of Inagua???? WHat's that turks and Caicos or cuba???

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LCMR 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with your response. I was directly involved in the construction of the warehouse. I can tell you that the government agencies of the Bahamas did nothing but stand in the way of finishing this project. I work in construction so in the construction language, they were simply measuring D--ks. This project was a donation from the tax paying Americans. The Bahamian government has stood in the way of accepting this project or the supplies would have been there.This project was inspected and accepted by all approiate US officials but the Bahamian officials have been draging their feet to protect their respective jobs. As I have said, these suppies could have and should have been there excepting the arrogance of the Bahamian officials.

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 1 month ago

For some of you, Minnis will never do it right. He will never be able to please you. Whatever he does, will not meet your satisfaction. I get it! If he walks on water, you will surmise that he is incapable of swimming.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

You're 100% wrong. This is not about Minnis, I for one am desperately concerned about the Bahamas. We're in deep trouble and not just from a hurricane.

Look at the comment I made this morning, "why are they sending supplies into the direct path of a cat 5 hurricane?", you most likely took that as an example of "not liking Dr Minnis and criticizing everything he does". I really really really wish FNM supporters would look at things sensibly, forget how much they love Minnis and ask, "does this decision make sense"?. Guess what? cabinet just had an emergency meeting to come up with an evacuation plan. It late but thank God!!! (I thought evacuation was the obvious route from Monday morning). The evacuation plan should have been part of a protocol they established way back in June. This is SENSE. Russell says he's going back to his office to "draft it". The entire cabinet posing for pictures, ten weeks break, but days before the storm they trying to "figure out" how to evacuate low density islands. Stop supporting "anything" this government does just because you're FNM, this time peoples lives are on the line

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sealice 3 years, 1 month ago

The US gets a warehouse built in Inagua of all places - east bumfruck no where, limited man power equipment etc etc.... but we in Nassau are being told there's a big whole in the main power plants roof that hasn't been fixed for over a year? It's a wonder Moody's doesn't downgrade us because of SHITE like this!!!!

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 1 month ago

We will all see if this strategy will work ........ it all depends on whether the US bunker facility will survive the Cat5 force ......... If it does, then the supplies will be a boost for the SE Bahamas

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

You're right, hurricanes are extremely unpredictable. We may wake up tomorrow and find out it jogged to the south and is going over Cuba. But we make plans based on what we know now, and right now a cat 5 is to make a direct hit on Inagua. 180mph, gusts up to 200mph and growing in intensity. This is a walking 12 hour tornado on steroids. I'd say move the supplies as far south as you can, an island that won't get above 80mph. If it doesn't hit Inagua, and my rant was for nothing, God be praised.

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 1 month ago

@ThisisOurs. While I was not directly responding to your comments alone, I do see a certain degree of impatience with this government in your writings. You seem to have wanted the new FNM government, and PM Minnis in particular, to have solved all of the country's ills in just four months. He has been called out for not removing VAT on certain items as promised during the campaign; not solving the Crime epidemic; unnecessary travels abroad; borrowing money to pay the country's bills; not checking the Minister of Tourism, or the Minister of Finance; not having a Hurricane Evacuation Plan in place since June (a really ridiculous request, among the others). I can go on and on with this list. It is not a matter of liking the PM to the point of being blind to his shortcomings. It is a matter of being fair and reasonable, taking into consideration that this FNM administration is fairly new, inexperienced, and should be given the benefit of any doubt. If, next year, around this time, they are not better prepared for a hurricane, then I will agree with you. I believe now is the time for all Bahamians to remove their politically-coloured glasses and join hands in supporting this government (not the FNM Party)to help get our country back on path again. I believe that our best days are ahead of us!

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

That's the thing, I know he can't solve all our problems even in five years. What I wanted from day two was to see them moving in the right direction. I didn't expect a plan necessarily, I expected to see the steps that would move us toward a plan. Instead I saw a lot of drama, red meat for the crowds. I guess you can see that I am disheartened, I am seriously worried. The most worrying thing for me was the appointment of the financial secretary, he's a fine person , "I guess", but this is not about who we like. We don't need Simon Wilson #2 in that post.

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 1 month ago

ThisisOurs ........ the PM/FNMCabinet are laying a good foundation ...... we will look back on HAM and see Obama all over again ...... Can anyone remember how bad things were going in 2008 in the US economy????? That is The Bahamas today ......... HAM and KPT have the right approach ....... God help us all with Irma

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

We're not the US. theIr unemployment is at 4% and their economy is growing at 3%. We on the verge of junk status....we don't bounce as easily as they do...

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

I don't know if you've ever worked with business continuity plans before, I have, and you put them in place well before the event. Especially hurricanes. You map those things down to a tee and you test them. Everything. Communications, generators, data backups, secondary office locations in case the building is destroyed, an off island site if the storm is that bad. Everything. If this government had priorities in place, one of the first things they would have done was ensure the hurricane plans were in place, and yes by End of June the latest.

Mother Nature isn't waiting until they've had enough time. That master plan includes an evacuation protocol for each sparsely populated island. You have your register of persons on the island, their ages and any special needs. You estimate how many flights, how many boat trips you need and how long it will take to get everyone out. Everyone on the island knows how much luggage they're allowed to take in the event of an evacuation. You establish the protocol to make the decision to evacuate. Every year you pick up the file you recheck it, births/deaths/moves etc. this isn't rocket science. You are letting them off too easy. We need to do better.

What they should have been doing today was opening the file and making a decision on if and when to execute. They in charge now....the old ways are no more...

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 1 month ago

Take your suggestions to NEMA ...... They are excellent

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sheeprunner12 3 years, 1 month ago

Inagua getting emergency supplies .......... but the residents are being evacuated?????

What is the purpose of the supplies?????? .......... to feed the donkeys & flamingos?????

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SP 3 years, 1 month ago

Where the hell is V. Alfred Gray when we need him most?....NOT

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CatIslandBoy 3 years, 1 month ago

@ThisisOurs. I can understand your frustration, but, with a little patience, you are going to be ok. I, like you, am a little anxious also. Doc Minnis is the first non-Attorney PM in an independent Bahamas. His style mirrors his profession, unlike the attorney PM's who preceded him. I don't believe that Dr. Minnis' plan for the country is being played out in the public arena, and I don't believe it has to be. However, I do believe that he, and his Cabinet are working very hard to make a difference for the Bahamian people. Most new leaders tend to govern in the same manner in which they led the opposition, or conducted their business affairs. I can assure you that these able ladies and gentlemen are not resting on their laurels.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 1 month ago

I implied earlier that it would be good news for us if Irma jogged south over Cuba, that was insensitive , this storm won't be good for anyone, least of all Cuba. Just saw trees being ripped apart on Antigua(?), not sure if the storm is even fully over that island as yet. Hope God brings them and us through it.

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wesbronco 3 years, 1 month ago

To me, it seemed like you implied that the Caribbean sea board is unpredictable and could throw the hurricane in any direction, not to say that it would be good for the 242 to whomever resided in that direction.

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