Country embraces new technology for disaster preparedness

Country embraces new technology for disaster preparedness

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) is exploring new ways to mitigate against serious impacts of hurricanes and other national emergencies, including a new app ‘Disaster Aware’.

DRA Chairman Alex Storr told Eyewitness News that the international emergency alert and real-time app can be used for warnings, projections, and information on how a disaster could affect a particular region or zone.

“The app is online anyone can register to use it; but how we could use it is for instance I spoke about hurricane shelters on different islands,” he said.

“I could pull up the island of Abaco and using the data that’s is being compiled, I can see a real-time demonstration on how a category five hurricane could affect Abaco coming in from different directions.

“I can look at the areas that are prone to flooding because that can help with future planning,” Storr said.

The University of The Bahamas has formed a partnership with the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) and utilised their national baseline assessment.

At the International Day for Disaster Risk reduction symposium at Baha Mar last week, Prime Minister Philip Davis said the assessment was recently completed and contains details of calculated risks on each Family Island.

“It offers fresh insights to help meet the critical needs of each island and bolster our comprehensive national strategy for disaster management and mitigation,” he said.

“PDC’s national baseline assessment program is not merely recognized by the Bahamian government, but internationally by the United Nations and received first place in the Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction earlier this year.”

Davis added that the policies fall in line with the country’s plans to cultivate more sustainable resources in the mitigation and fight against climate change.

He said: “The program provides a global model for translating complex risk information into meaningful disaster management policy, planning, and action.

“These efforts support our Blueprint for Change, which details aggressive actions to kick start transformation in our economy and the way we recover and rebuild. We are especially concerned with securing a sustainable, dignified, and resilient future for all.”