Social services to manage data on shelterees

Social services to manage data on shelterees
Inside one of three tents outside the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium erected to house storm victims following Hurricane Dorian (FILE PHOTO)

Information will be compiled instantly, including demographics, says Quant-Forbes

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Department of Social Services will maintain a “detailed” log of all individuals who enter shelters throughout The Bahamas, according to Director of Social Services Lillian Quant-Forbes.

“We have done a lot of training for database collection and so, for persons being able to come into the shelter, we will sit with them, get their information and be able to compile our information instantly,” she said during a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) press conference yesterday.

“And so, that again helps us in the process so we can look at a moment’s notice and identify the various categories of persons and we can give the demographics of all of the persons who are in the various shelters.”

Amid Hurricane Dorian, a destruction Category 5 storm, which ripped through portions of Abaco and Grand Bahama, droves of residents flocked to shelters in the impact zones.

Some structures were compromised during the storm, claiming lives.

At least 74 people were killed during the storm.

Thousands were displaced.

Nearly 30,000 people were impacted.

In June, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said 279 people were still missing, just three weeks after a senior police officer advised the public 33 people were reported missing.

The number of missing people has been a source of controversy as various entities provide fluctuating figures.

When asked whether the data on shelterees would be centralized and which entity will be responsible for managing and reconciling figures, Quant-Forbes said: “All data collected at the shelters belong to the government of The Bahamas.

“And so, because of that the information will be channeled through the proper agencies and then the information would then be dispersed to the persons who require the information.

“But the data is collected is the data belonging to the government of The Bahamas.

Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Iram Lewis added that social services will be responsible for the data.

He also confirmed the data will be centralized and shared across government agencies.

“It will be shared between NEMA and the police department, and any agency that needs it,” the minister said.

“We will certainly be relying on social services to be very detailed and they have been.

“And of course, we will improve on systems that we used previously.

“The data will be centralized and it will be made available to all agencies because as she (Forbes-Quant) stated, the data belongs to the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and it will be primarily collected by the shelter management, headed by social services.”