NEMA partners with U.S. Dept. of Defense to test hurricane response

NEMA partners with U.S. Dept. of Defense to test hurricane response

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) plans to conduct a full-scale exercise next month to test the national hurricane response throughout the country with assistance from the United States Department of Defense.

According to a statement, NEMA will partner with U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) to execute “Restore Island Cays” on August 17-20, 2020.

A number of planning sessions will be held to prepare interagency personnel for main event, it added.

“The evaluation shall be conducted by assessing the existing processes and procedures, to further develop an understanding of the roles, responsibilities and authorities involved in disaster response,” the statement read.

“The objectives of the exercise are to evaluate National Emergency Operations Centre’s (NEOC) response to a catastrophic hurricane; coordinate response with Family Island administrators; and test logistical response to a hazard.

“The initiative will be designed to combine tabletop, command post and/or field training exercises. Planning meetings are to be held at the National Training Agency (NTA) on Gladstone Road.”

The statement added: “NEMA aims to continue strengthening its ongoing relationship and partnership with all government, non-government, regional and international agencies to better prepare communities throughout The Bahamas, to respond to any disaster, natural or manmade.”

The Bahamas has been impacted by four major hurricanes in recent years.

Hurricane Dorian decimated portions of Grand Bahama and Abaco in September 2019; Hurricane Irma struck in 2017; Hurricane Matthew in 2016; and Joaquin in 2015.

Communities on those islands remain in a state of recovery.