This month, the 2015 National Bahamas Knowledge Exchange was held in Nassau. The three-day event took place June 2-4, and brought together Family Island administrators under the theme “Be Disaster Aware! Building Disaster Resilient Communities.”
This was the fifth event held since 2010, in order to provide an interactive environment in which disaster management professionals from the United States and The Bahamas can exchange ideas and information to work toward solving problems facing The Bahamas during a disaster. The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) hosted the event, which was funded by the U.S. Northern Command (US NORTHCOM), and facilitated by the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC).
This year’s event focused on effective disaster management, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) best practices, community engagement and effective communication, and working with the media. Approximately 60 participants attended, including Family Island administrators representing the southern Bahamas, national government representatives, and members of the public, private, and non-governmental organization (NGO) community.
Welcoming remarks were provided by Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Rt. Hon. Perry Christie; U.S. Chargé d’Affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Lisa Johnson; Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Captain Stephen Russell; US NORTHCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) Officer, Jeffrey B. Smith; and Pacific Disaster Center Director of Disaster Services, Dr. Erin Hughey.
Planning for the sixth knowledge exchange is underway, which is scheduled for 2016.
For related information on The Bahamas Knowledge Exchange Conferences:
• See the 2014 Knowledge Exchange article,
• Read about the first PDC-NEMA Knowledge Exchange event series,
• Learn how PDC assisted Northern Bahamas with disaster preparedness, or
• View an article from the Embassy of the US Nassau, Bahamas.