June 01, 2020
As a part of the National Hurricane Preparation, Response and Rebuilding Effort; the Ministry of Public Works is responsible for the following mandates:
(1) Securing of Government Buildings in the event of a hurricane threat.
(2) Damage Assessment – New Providence and the Family Islands (ESF-3).
(3) Clearing of the roads and establishment of critical routes after the passing of a hurricane.
(4) Storm Drainage and trimming of the trees, which will pose a hazard on Government roads and properties only.
(5) Coordination of disaster response with the Utility Corporations.
(6) Inspection of the engineering aspects of Public Hurricane Shelters, as a part of NEMA’S Hurricane Shelter Sub-committee (ESF-6).
(7) Management of standby generator in Government buildings (testing, fueling and overall maintenance).
To facilitate the efficient and effective execution of these responsibilities, the Department of Public Works held its annual “Hurricane Summit” in February; to incorporate and coalesce the various relevant Officers will be involved in our 2020 Hurricane efforts. We have also has produced our annual “Hurricane Preparation 2020” working document, which comprehensively covers the Ministry’s plan to meet the above responsibilities, as well as to provide a database of helpful information for use in such emergencies.
Hence, the state of readiness can be articulated as follows:
(1) A Team has been assigned to each of the Government buildings for which the Ministry of Public is responsible. They are responsible for securing each of these buildings in the event of a Hurricane threat. There are also some Government Agencies, which will have their own Teams, which address the securing of their particular buildings.
(2) Damage Assessment Teams have been assigned to each of the major Islands or “groups” of Islands. As in previous years, they will rapidly deploy to the affected areas, as needed, to conduct rapid, intermediate, and long-term damage assessments, as required.
(3) Civil Works Teams have also been formed; to again address the issues of road clearance, storm drainage, trimming of trees, etc. Relationships and alliances are also again being formed with Contractors in the Private Sector; such that they can be quickly mobilized to address these civil Works issues.
(4) The Utility Corporations and Companies; both private and public, each have their own Hurricane Plans. The Ministry of Public Works will continue to work with them, such that proper coordination takes place and synergies are forged, as much as practicable; for effective mitigation and response to Hurricane Threats.
(5) The MOPW is again represented on the National Hurricane Shelter Sub-Committee (ESF-6) by a Registered Professional Structural Engineer. He continues to work closely with the Department of Social Services and the other Member Agencies on this Sub-Committee; in the process of inspecting and processing and listing of Public Hurricane Shelters, and in addressing issues related to this vital area.
(6) The Ministry’s Generator Workshop continues to monitor and maintain standby generators in Government Buildings; except for those, which are under contract with Private Generator Companies.
In general, as we at stand at the beginning of the 2020 Hurricane Season, the Ministry of Public Works is generally poised to fulfill its required responsibilities to our beloved Bahamaland.
Thank you very much.