World famous for its pristine waters, The Bahamas is also known for its unique disaster management challenges, due in part to the nation’s specific geography. The archipelago of approximately 700 islands and cays, stretches over 100,00 square miles, with a dispersed population inhabiting approximately 29 main islands.
The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), a leader in the Caribbean, understands the geographic challenges facing the nation and is focused on building disaster resilient communities. This month, as part of that effort, the 2014 Bahamas Disaster Management Knowledge Exchange is being held in Nassau. This three-day event, 23–25 September, is titled “Be Disaster Aware! Building Disaster Resilient Communities.” The Knowledge Exchange brings together Island Administrators from each of the Family Islands and provides these elected officials with an opportunity to focus exclusively on disaster preparedness.
Funded by the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), this is the fourth event held to provide an interactive environment in which professionals from the United States and The Bahamas can exchange ideas and information related to effective disaster management programs and techniques. The Rt. Honourable Perry Gladstone Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, will officially open the event.
Dr. Erin Hughey, PDC Director of Disaster Services, has been working with The Bahamas and NEMA since 2001. According to Dr. Hughey, “The partnership between Pacific Disaster Center, NORTHCOM, and NEMA has built capacity among all organizations. Working together to strengthen disaster management early warning, enhance risk reduction efforts, and ensure everyone is prepared to respond when the time comes has always been the focus for the team. The Annual Knowledge Exchange is an event that we all look forward to; sharing best practices and highlighting the excellent work that has been done energizes the team.”
This year’s event focuses on response operations and includes the following presentations: “Effective Disaster Management” by NEMA Operations Officer Gayle Outten-Moncur and Dr. Hughey; “Lessons Learned: Typhoon Haiyan,” Dr. Hughey; “Hurricane Iselle,” Mr. Michael Chatman, PDC; and “The Current Status of Ebola” presented by Dr. Gerry Eijkemans, Pan American Health Organization. To see the complete agenda ‘click here’.
For related information on The Bahamas Knowledge Exchange Conferences:
• Read about the first PDC-NEMA Knowledge Exchange event series,
• Learn how PDC assisted Northern Bahamas with disaster preparedness,
• View an article from the Embassy of the US Nassau, Bahamas