By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE business community is in a 'heightened' state of concern over the potential affect of Hurricane Dorian according to Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) chief executive Jeffrey Beckles, noting that, "hurricanes are a part of our reality".
"Storms are always a concern," said Mr Beckles.
"Obviously back to school and the height of the hurricane season are synonymous. I don't know if that is ever going to change because late August into September is literally the peak of the hurricane season. We are concerned about the well being of our brothers and sisters in the northern Bahamas. We are confident that NEMA and its corresponding agencies have been working to be able to put themselves in a better position to respond to any natural disaster."
He added: "Hurricanes are just a part of our reality. We are vulnerable because we live in the hurricane belt. We are concerned about persons well being and always want to be able to determine how quickly we can be able to determine how quickly we can resume commerce again. Concern is certainly heightened right now. We have been encouraging business to prepare their business continuum plans. One of the key things after a natural disaster is you need to be able to meet the needs of the people."
Mr Beckles said Bahamians should educate themselves to the effects of climate change. "We are experiencing climate change. Storms are becoming more ferocious and not taking as long to develop. We are experiencing sea level rise and its impact."
Ken Hutton, the Abaco Chamber of Commerce's president told Tribune Business that residents and the business community have taken Hurricane Dorian 'very seriously'. He noted that the storms passage comes just as the island is entering its traditionally slow season for tourism. Abaco and Grand Bahama are in the path of the Category 4 storm.