NEMA MORNING UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 9
by Carl Smith – NEMA Spokesperson
I want to start today’s public briefing thanking the local and
international non-governmental and private sector partners who
have been working with NEMA to support the disaster relief effort.
Almost 150 representatives from local NGOs turned up for one of
our early meetings with NGOs.
That is a testament to the level of support.
NEMA recognizes the frustrations that arise at times when it
comes to coordination. This is a massive operation with many
Despite the challenges, we continue to work hard to bring our
vision to life of ONE VOICE, ONE RESPONSE, MANY
People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. The more we can move in sync, the better we can support the
thousands of Bahamians, residents and non-residents who are
depending on us in this time.
We will not rest until lives are restored, homes are rebuilt and
communities are rejuvenated.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS UPDATE ON IMMIGRATION UPDATE
1. NEMA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to advise
the public that no new arrangements have been established to
facilitate entry of Bahamians into the United States or Canada.
2. Bahamians interested in travelling to the United States and Canada
should ensure they have all of the usual immigration documents
required by those countries for entry.
3. While most inquiries have come in with respect to the United
States and Canada, NEMA can confirm that the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs is not aware of any new arrangements for any
4. We are aware of an incident reported on a large passenger vessel
headed to the United States from Florida.
5. NEMA has requested that the Ministry of Tourism and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs investigate this matter.
NEMA COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE
1. NEMA recognizes the need for a more consistent flow
of public information
2. We have expanded our public information team to more
effectively disseminate and relay pertinent and relevant
information to the public at large
3. The team comprises members of Bahamas Information
Services, Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance
Central Communications Unit and other volunteers and
4. As we recognize the need for improvements, NEMA is
moving as quickly as possible to resource itself and work with
partners to ensure we provide the best support to those impacted by
5. We invite the public to look for regular updates on the
NEMA-Bahamas Facebook page (Facebook.com/nema242)
Instagram and Twitter.
6. You can also find updates on the social media accounts
for The Office of the Prime Minister – The Bahamas, The Office
of the Prime Minister – Grand Bahama, the Ministry of Finance
and the Ministry of Health and EOC Freeport.
7. And tune into our daily press briefings at 11am
8. During our press briefings this week, you can expect
updates on the operations of local and international NGOs, who
have been invited to answer questions and share important
information with the public
- While evacuations continue today and tomorrow, the airports will
be opened for commercial flights at some point. NEMA will advise
- The number for evacuees to New Providence now stands are
- There are several flights from Grand Bahama and Abaco departing
today throughout the day by Bahamas Air, Delta Airlines, Trans
Island and Airbridge Charters. The flight schedules are posted on
the NEMA-Bahamas Facebook Page.
NGO COORDINATION & INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
- This final update is very important for our NGO partners
- NEMA has invited the United Nations Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to assist with the flow of
information between NEMA and the NGO community
- Information management is critical to operational and tactical
- At NEMA we have a number of data tools to assist in decisionmaking and the deployment of resources. These include special
maps produced by PDC Global and a 3W dashboard that helps us
to share information about what is happening, where it is
happening and who is doing what. Eventually this database will
capture in a consolidated and easily accessible way in which many
people are being helped.
- Many things are happening at NEMA and with our partners;
however, the use of these information management tools will assist
us with communicating to the public and also coordination with
NEMA SATELITE OFFICE
o NEMA has set up a satellite office at the National Training
Agency on Gladstone Road for NGOs to coordinate with the
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
o This office will be open to NGOs starting tomorrow.
o OCHA works in direct collaboration with the NEMA
Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
o NEMA has directed to support NGOs to ensure there is
inclusivity and access to the information they need to assist.
o Starting tomorrow afternoon (September 10), local NGOs are
asked to go to the NTA satellite office and liaise with the
OCHA counter-part representatives working with NEMA.
o They will receive access to the online information
management tools and be able to get NEMA updates
o We will reach out directly to NGOs via our mailing list and
post updates on Facebook