NASSAU, The Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), recently acquired the tools to assist with its Emergency Relief Warehouses Supply Management, and equipment to conduct Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training among various sectors and communities following the receipt of two, $8,000 grants from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) via the CDEMA Coordinating Unit, based in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The Coordinating Unit received the grant funding from the European Union under CDEMA’s Partnership Programme entitled: “Strengthening the Capacity of the CDEMA Participating States and Coordinating Unit for the Implementation of Comprehensive Disaster Management.” The Bahamas is one of 20 Participating States under the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
(CDEMA is the regional inter – government Agency that falls directly under the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States that require such assistance. The responsibility, and operational functions of the Coordinating Unit, centre on four programming areas: education, research and information; finance and administration; preparedness and response, and mitigation and research.)
Working in collaboration with The Bahamas’ Department of Transformation and Digitization, with the aid of the inventory software and barcoding tools procured with the grant funding, NEMA proposes to achieve the following:
- Complete the inventory of all assets in its four (4) Emergency Relief Warehouses, one (1) in Hawksbill, Grand Bahama, two (2) in New Providence, and one (1) in Great Inagua.
- To categorize and label all items in its warehouses.
- To electronically track warehouse items (end to end supply chain management),
- To train warehouse managers and staff in the use of all tools and equipment.
Additionally, through the grant funding, NEMA was able to procure the equipment needed to conduct a series of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. CERTs are trained to take care of themselves and then help others in their communities. The purpose of CERT training is to provide citizens with the basic skills required to handle their own needs and then be able to respond to their communities’ needs in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster.
NEMA Director, Captain Stephen Russell, said: “Our aim is to ensure that all warehouses have a standard operating procedure and are operating in an efficient and effective manner. The inventory software, and barcode tools, and the staff training will assist in building capacity, and an overall improvement in the relief supply management system.
“The CERT training is a part of the Agency’s continued efforts to build capacity in various sectors and communities throughout The Bahamas to enable them to be better prepared to respond to any emergencies or disasters. The CERT programme is an ideal fit given the geographical make-up of The Bahamas with its scattered and remote communities,” Captain Russell added.