The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, welcomed
manufacturer of the dome structure, which will be set up as temporary housing for residents displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
During a press conference held Monday, December 9, 2019 Captain Stephen Russell, director of NEMA welcomed Captain Don Kubley, President and CEO of InterShelter Inc., the company from which the structures were purchased. Capt Russell noted that as the recovery phase continues, the aim is to get residents back into their communities so they can rebuild their lives.
Also on hand was Disaster Relief and Reconstruction Committee Chairman, John Michael Clarke who explained how the process would be managed, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services. As of December 9, 2019, a total of 497 shelterees were being housed at two shelters on New Providence: 380 at the Kendal G. L Isaacs Gymnasium and three tents, and 117 at the Bahamas Academy Gymnasium.
Clarke said that the Department of Social Services already has a list of Hurricane Dorian victims, who may qualify for the government’s temporary housing facility on Abaco. The government had announced that an estimated $6.4 million will be spent on some 250 dome structures for temporary housing for Bahamians displaced as a result of the Category 5 storm, which devastated East Grand Bahama and Abaco and its Cays in early September.
Each dome structure includes plumbing, drainage, a sewer system, and electricity; and will be able to accommodate between four to six people. “We are as mobile as tents and as portable as tents and go up faster than many tents, but once our buildings are up, they’re immune to environmental challenges,” Capt Kubley said, adding that the structures are also bug proof and earthquake proof. He further described the structures as being hurricane proof and comfortable as living quarters.
“One of the greatest things about them for transitional housing after a disaster like Dorian is (they) can stay and put one in front of their home and they can have a nice comfortable, warm safe place to be until their home is rebuilt,” Capt Kubley said. Brickell Management Group Construction is contracted to build the domes. And, according to its Director Philip Robinson, the company hopes to have 110 of those domes on Abaco by Christmas.
“We erected the first one this weekend, in Spring City; we had to clear an area. We put foundations in for 40. We’ve put plumbing in for fresh water. We’ve put sewerage lines in and septic tanks arrive later this week. We’ve put the bases in. The bases we’ve ground anchored to
bedrock, so they’re not going to move. And we’ve raised the basis by six inches, so we have no water issues, so everybody is dry,” he said.
Added Robinson: “Our intention is to have 110 domes this side of Christmas on the island, and the remainder to be on the island by the end of January. We are working through the Christmas period to keep moving forward.”