Disaster management officials continue to stress preparedness on eve of 2022 Hurricane Season

Disaster Management officials found “creative ways” to educate children about the “serious matter” of disaster and/or emergency preparedness at the Disaster Preparedness Month Exhibition held at the Farmers Market site, Gladstone Road. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

The country’s Disaster management officials continued to urge Bahamians and residents alike, who haven’t already done so, to not allow themselves to become desensitized to risk, or complacent in their planning, and finalize their individual, family and business emergency plans. The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, begins Wednesday, June 1, and ends Wednesday, November 30.

Those Plans should include an Emergency Supplies/Hurricane Preparedness Kit that should consist of a small, First Aid Kit and any needed medications, non-perishable food items, battery-powered radios, flashlights, extra batteries, hygiene products, masks, whistles (for alerting others if necessary), copies of important documents such as insurance papers and identification (sealed), a list of emergency numbers, cash in small bills, rope, tools, and clothing.

Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle, added her voice to the call for the need for individuals, families, communities and businesses to be prepared, adding that: “We all have a part to play. We must not allow ourselves to become desensitized to risk, or complacent in our planning.”

“I ask you all to be proactive in preparing for severe weather.

Create emergency plan for your families. Replenish your stock of emergency supplies, and take the necessary measures to protect property and possessions. Additionally, remain attentive to all advisories and warnings issued by The Bahamas Department of Meteorology,” said Mrs. Glover- Rolle who was acting in the capacity as Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response.

“NEMA is making a concerted effort in collaboration with all other key stakeholders in government, the private sector (and externally where
necessary) to have all critical systems in place and functioning effectively on each island, including hurricane shelters, adequate supplies and reliable telecommunications and power supply. The impact of our collective preparation efforts increase our capacity to quickly recover in the aftermath of a storm. We must not allow ourselves to become desensitized to risk or complacent in our planning.”

State-Minister Glover-Rolle said Hurricane Dorian, which impacted Abaco and Grand Bahama in September 2019, is a strong reminder of the need to always be prepared for the Hurricane Season.

“Having seen the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, I implore you all to make preparation your priority. We need to make ourselves ready to the best of our individual and collective abilities. The NEMA team has been actively engaged in hurricane and disaster preparation, but this is not just about NEMA or about the Government more widely. It is also a task for us as individuals and as members of families and communities to prepare and protect ourselves and our properties as best as we can. We all have a part to play.

“I therefore take this opportunity, as the Acting Minister of State with responsibility for the National Emergency Management Agency to encourage you to take whatever serious and urgent precautions that are necessary to ensure that this hurricane season does not find you in what would be an unfortunate and extremely risky state of unpreparedness and vulnerability. I stress this again because of the importance of preparedness in disaster mitigation.”

Weather forecasters at The Bahamas Department of Meteorology (Met Department) are predicting another above-average season with 19 named storms, including 9 hurricanes, 4 of which are expected to become major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher with maximum sustained winds of 111mph or higher) on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. In a Special Weather Statement issued Monday (May 30), Meteorology officials predicted inclement and very wet weather ahead for The Bahamas” as a result of a broad, low trough, straddling the northwest and central Bahamas. The trough will eventually lift and move northeast into the open Atlantic Ocean by Thursday (June 2).

The Met Department was closely monitoring the possibility of a broad area of showers and thunderstorms associated with the remnants of Hurricane Agatha that is presently located off the southeast coast of Mexico. Development of this disturbance is expected near the Yucatan Peninsula and the southwest Gulf of Mexico by Wednesday (June 1). Weather Forecast models indicate that the disturbance could develop into a low pressure system, and begin moving towards the northeast by Thursday night. The system is further forecast to deepen and move across central Cuba on Friday (June 3) and into the northwest Bahamas by early Saturday morning.

Forecasters say there is a possibility that the system could further develop into a tropical depression or storm as it approaches The Bahamas. Met officials will continue to monitor the situation and update the public on any possible developments. They are advising residents in the northwest and central Bahamas to prepare for intense thunderstorm activity with excessive rainfall beginning Friday night and continuing into Sunday, June 5. There are two main drivers for this Season’s forecast: An El Nino weather event is not expected in the Pacific during the 2022 Hurricane Season, and water temperatures in the Atlantic are hotter than normal. When an El Nino forms in the Pacific, it produces strong wind-shear in the upper levels of the atmosphere across the Atlantic Ocean which limits the formation of hurricanes. Warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic, on the other hand, fuels the formation of hurricanes. With the absence of an El Nino, the 2022 season is expected to be active.

The names of the 2022 Atlantic storms are as follows: Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Martin, Nicole, Owen, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter.

More photo highlights below:

Captain Stephen Russell, Director, the National Emergency Management Agency (right) provides Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle (left), with a tour of one of the temporary shelters that comprise the NEMA shelter assets during Saturday’s (May 28) Disaster Preparedness Month Exhibition. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Deputy Director at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mrs. Gayle Outten-Moncur, (right) discusses what items that should be included in a Disaster/Hurricane Preparedness Kit to Minister of State for the Public Service, the Hon. Pia Glover-Rolle (left) at the Disaster Preparedness Month Exhibition held Saturday (May 28) at the Farmers Market Site, Gladstone Road. Mrs. Glover-Rolle acted in the capacity of Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response. Also pictured are: Mr. Carl Smith, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister’s Disaster Management Unit (second left) and Captain Stephen Russell, Director, the National Emergency Management Agency. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)