September 17, 2019
The National Emergency Management Agency, the governmental organization which leads the coalition of local, international governmental and nongovernmental partners assisting with the Hurricane Dorian emergency response management efforts, recently shared the operation’s progress from Immediate Response, the first phase to Recovery, the second phase.
The Recovery phase, which includes additional search and rescue operations, is coordinated by NEMA with Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and its international civil-military partners. The transition to this phase occurs once most urgent, on-the-ground needs such as food and water have been met and there is no longer an immediate threat to peoples’ lives.
While there has been steady progress in the search and rescue operations, the recovery operation is typically a slow process. NEMA, working with specialized teams from the United States and Canada has recently begun the process of using earth-moving equipment to clear heavy debris such as shipping containers and cars, which previously impeded accessibility to some areas.
According to Captain Stephen Russell, NEMA director, the Agency is utilizing a grid system to increase the efficiency of the recovery operation and to ensure that all areas are included in the process.
Although the emergency rescue management efforts have begun to advance to the Recovery Phase, NEMA Spokesperson Carl Smith also noted that as long as The Bahamas has security forces and technical experts on the ground, the Agency will continue to provide on scene rescue response for those in need.
“There may still be individuals and groups in remote areas that we are not aware of,” said Smith. “We continue to encourage the public to let us know the locations of individuals who may be in need of immediate life saving food supplies and support, or evacuations.”