New mobile shelter can house 400, Russell says

As The Bahamas prepares for hurricane season, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director Captain Stephen Russell said yesterday that the government has acquired a mobile shelter that can be deployed during post-storm recovery.

“The shelter emergency support function group has been spearheading the task of having all shelters, throughout The Bahamas, inspected to determine which facilities will be available for this season,” Russell said during a press conference at NEMA’s headquarters on Gladstone Road.

“The official list of shelters will be made available within the next two weeks. Over the past year, as many of you may be aware, through our US military partnership, NEMA was able to acquire a mobile shelter system which can accommodate some 400 persons.

“The system also compromises showers, toilets and field kitchens that can cook up to 600 meals on a given day.”

Russell said NEMA has also transferred flood water rescue equipment to 11 islands where teams were previously trained to use the equipment.

He did not indicate which islands had the equipment.

Russell said the government recently held a meeting with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) to review The Bahamas’ insurance policy and “examine the best possible options” before renewing the policy this month.

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30.

Acting Director of Meteorology Jeffrey Simmons said the upcoming season is predicted to be an active one.

“We are predicting this year an above average hurricane season for 2022,” he said.

“… Colorado State University put out their prediction. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) will not put out their prediction until the end of May in a few weeks.

“So, the prediction, as you would have heard, is 19 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.”

The last hurricane to pass through The Bahamas was Isaias in August 2020.

The last major hurricane to make landfall was Dorian which killed scores of people and caused more than $3 billion in damage in September 2019.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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