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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Sep 8, 2019 - 11:52:49 PM

NEMA Hurricane Dorian Press Briefing on Sept. 8
By National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
Sep 8, 2019 - 11:41:20 PM

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Abaco and Grand Bahama

  1. There is no mandatory evacuation order for Abaco.
  2. Evacuation is strictly voluntary. 
  3. The total number of evacuees to Nassau is approximately 3,500 so far.
  4. There were a number of partners running evacuations today, including Bahamasair, Delta Airlines, Western Air, Trans Island Air, Air Bridge and other private partners. The Bahamas Fast Ferries and private boaters also executed sea evacuations. 
  5. The number of persons presenting themselves for evacuations is diminishing. 
  6. Evacuees are being processed at The Odyssey Aviation Processing Centre. We thank our private sector partners who are working with Social Services to manage this center. 
  7. As a reminder, all evacuations should be free of charge. The public should report any aircraft that are charging fees. Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority is revoking authorizations for those aircraft. 
  8. The evacuation plan is to provide temporary housing in Abaco to assist those persons who wish to stay on the island. 
  9. Several safe spaces have been identified to clear areas for temporary housing


  1. NEMA and its partners have not commenced any mass scale debris cleaning in Abaco.
  2. Search and recovery is still being conducted, particularly in Marsh Harbour.
  3. We are aware of rumors about bulldozing in The Mud. These reports are false. 
  4. NEMA has directed a 50 member team from The United States Agency for International Development /Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) to work with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to do a systematic sweep of the island. 
  5. The island has been put on a grid system and the recovery team will check each section for persons who are still alive, any bodies that need to be recovered, and to check for hazardous materials. 
  6. Only after each sector is cleared will NEMA and its partners move to the next phase of operations, which includes debris removal.

  1. We are confident there is adequate coverage on both islands to address safety and security issues.
  2. On Grand Bahama, there were 666 Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers. These figures include police reserves.
  3. In Abaco, there are 274 Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers. 
  4. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) responding to our request for support. 
  5. On Abaco, there are 33 Jamaican Defence Force Officers assisting in securing operations. There are 122 officers from Trinidad and Tobago who will be phased into Grand Bahama during the week.


When evacuees arrive in Nassau they are processed at the Processing Centre at Odyssey Aviation.

Evacuees are then taken to homes of families and friends, or a shelter.

The status of current shelters:
  • The Kendal Isaacs Gym - 422 people (full)
  • Fox Hill Community Shelter - 202 people 
  • Calvary Baptist Shelter - 91 people 
  • Salvation Army – 50 people
  • Pilgrim Baptist Church in St James Road - 95 people
  • And another centre opened this morning in Adelaide (Sept 8)
TOTAL PEOPLE PLACED at 10am Saturday, Sept 8 = 860


NEMA continues to work with local and international public and private sector entities to ensure that food and water are provided to the affected communities on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

As at 5pm September 8, 2019, arrangements have been put in place for:
  • Royal Caribbean to provide between 10,000–20,000 hot meals per day to persons in Grand Bahama. NEMA is augmenting these hot meals with non-perishable relief supplies.
  • The Island Administrator is to receive food and water for approximately 500 persons who are on Moore’s Island
  • Hands for Hunger and World Central Kitchen will distribute 2,000 hot meals to persons in Little Abaco starting September 9, 2019
  • Royal Bahamas Defence Force is delivering food, water and tarps to residents in Copper’s Town and North Abaco
  • World Food Programme and Samaritan’s Purse distributing 12,000 The Meal, Ready-to-Eat – commonly known as the MRE to 1,000 families in Marsh Harbour

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