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Disaster Risk Management Stakeholders Embarked on a Study Tour to Strengthen the National Disaster Management Framework

To significantly enhance disaster management capabilities in The Bahamas, a delegation from the Ministry of Disaster Risk Management, DRA, and NEMA recently embarked on an important study tour. This initiative, aimed at developing a comprehensive National Disaster Risk Management Plan, included participation in the Disasters Expo USA 2024 and strategic meetings in Florida and Jamaica. Led by The Hon. Leon Lundy, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the delegation’s journey marks a pivotal step towards safeguarding our nation against natural disasters.

The delegation’s mission focused on gaining valuable insights and exploring innovative disaster management strategies. A key highlight was the immersive virtual hurricane experience at the Disasters Expo USA 2024, hosted by the US National Hurricane Center. This cutting-edge simulation, which vividly portrayed the realities of a hurricane and its storm surge, underscored the importance of technology in training and public awareness efforts.

Through tours of the Emergency Operation Centers in Broward County, the City of Fort Lauderdale, and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Kingston, Jamaica, our team gained a firsthand understanding of effective disaster response and coordination. These experiences provided practical knowledge crucial for the operational success of our own National Disaster Risk Management initiatives.

The visit facilitated a productive dialogue with regional counterparts, culminating in a courtesy call on the Jamaican Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie. Both ministers exchanged ideas on enhancing collaboration and capacity-building in disaster risk management. Minister Lundy emphasized the delegation’s commitment to adopting international best practices and integrating new technologies to fortify The Bahamas’ preparedness and response mechanisms.

Minister Lundy expressed enthusiasm about the strategies The Bahamas will implement in the coming months, stating, “The insights from this mission will empower us to better mitigate disaster impacts, protect lives and properties, and foster resilient communities. Embracing international best practices, and investing in advanced technologies and training, we aim to establish the new Authority as a regional leader in disaster management. Our preparation during ‘Blue Sky’ times is key to our resilience during ‘Gray Sky’ times, and it is my goal that under my watch we are prepared.”

This study tour represents a crucial step towards realizing a robust National Disaster Risk Management Plan for The Bahamas, a first under the Disaster Risk Management Act of 2022. Our commitment to enhancing disaster management through international collaboration, innovation, and strategic planning underscores our dedication to protecting and serving our community with excellence.

About the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA):

The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) is responsible for the management of reconstruction and restoration in areas designated as disaster zones. The DRA Act was enacted by the Parliament of The Bahamas in 2019 in response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Dorian in the Northern Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane and the strongest cyclone to hit The Bahamas. The DRA is a corporate body that works collaboratively with national and international agencies in support of disaster recovery. The DRA is committed to maximizing recovery, reconstruction, and resilience outcomes with a mission of building a more resilient Bahamas.

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Communications Department

Communications Department

Communications Department—a dedicated hub for timely and transparent dissemination of information. As the forefront of our organization's outreach efforts, we strive to keep you informed about our disaster response initiatives, reconstruction projects, and community engagement endeavors.

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