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NEMA designates Kendal Isaacs Gym and TAR National Stadium as hurricane shelters
By Lindsay Thompson, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA
Oct 5, 2016 - 3:44:22 PM

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National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA

NASSAU, The Bahamas – In a coordinated effort amongst the relevant agencies the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has designated the Kendal D L Isaacs Gymnasium as a Hurricane shelter as New Providence braces for the onslaught of Hurricane Matthew.

The gym opened at about noon on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 and accommodated six families who presented themselves for refuge at that time. The gym, located at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre has the capacity to accommodate 460 people.

Royal Bahamas Defence Force Acting Commodore Tellis Bethel has confirmed that 12 marines have been posted there as shelter managers – and will assist the National Sports Authority in managing the hurricane shelter for about 4 days or until the All-clear is given by the Met Department.

The Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium and the T A Robinson National Station fall under the management of the NSA. The national stadium, which has the capacity to hold 400 people will serve as a second hurricane shelter if the need arises. Venue Manager for the Kendal Isaacs gym is Arthur Thompson and Lawrence Hepburn is venue manager for the T A Robinson National Stadium.

NSA General Manager Jeffrey Beckles said all the requirements are in place at the facilities to house residents who live in low-lying areas prone to excessive flooding.

He said however that people presenting themselves to the shelter should follow the typical shelter rules such as:

Three-day supply of water per person

*Flashlight, extra batteries

* Cell phone, with a battery-operated charger

* Radio with extra batteries

* Medicines

* Snacks

* Special-diet foods

* Baby food and diapers

* Pillows, blankets, cots, sleeping bags

* Comfortable clothing (two changes)

* Identification

* Photocopies of valuable documents

* Eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures

* Toiletries, first-aid kit

* Cash

* Service animals

* Games, books or playing cards

Shelters are not environments for pets, so pet owners are being urged to find alternative shelters or pet shelters for their animals.

Mr. Beckles said that shelter residents would be in relative comfort – washrooms with showers and a dinning area has been set up. He also stressed that the shelters are no smoking environments.

NEMA is advising residents to take advantage of the shelters, especially if they feel their homes are not safe enough.

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