As the peak months of the 2016 hurricane season approach, “A Familiar Walk” reveals in its latest installment the lessons learned by local disaster management agencies after Joaquin ravaged the southeastern Bahamas. The show airs on ZNS tonight, Tuesday July 26, at 8:00 p.m.
Host of the program, Mario Newry, spoke to a panel of experts including, Caroline Turnquest, director general of the Bahamas Red Cross; Captain Stephen Russell, director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); Wayne Neely, meteorologist at the Department of Meteorology and Charles Johnson, senior manager of J.S. Johnson Insurance Agents and Brokers.
Neely discussed the forecasting challenges of rapid forming and track changing storms like Joaquin, which hit islands like Long Island, Acklins and Crooked Island.
“Mr. Neely gave an in-depth explanation on the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation or AMO, and an historical overview of disasters that affected The Bahamas,” said Newry. “He explained that the changes to weather patterns in recent years seem to suggest that more tracking services are needed in our disaster preparedness mitigation strategies.”
The panel of experts extolled the importance of planning for a potential disaster, especially a hurricane. Mario Newry & Associates had this theme in mind when producing the program, “A Familiar Walk: Building a culture of preparedness”.
Given the theme, Johnson spoke of the importance of providing families in The Bahamas with peace of mind when considering insurance and disaster preparedness. Newry revealed how he learned that homeowners often underestimate the amount of coverage they need to protect their property.
Turnquest reminded viewers and listeners that preparedness matters and saves lives. She highlighted the generosity shown by Bahamians in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Joaquin.
According to Captain Russell, NEMA has made great strides in preparing itself to manage disasters following Hurricane Joaquin, and he revealed that any plan to provide long-term protection and allay major damage is always top priority. He gave an update on the National Hurricane Conference, where The Bahamas was well-represented by an impressive team of Bahamians, and he revealed that the forum was an impressive platform regarding the protection of island nations like The Bahamas.
Captain Russell and Mr. Newry both agreed that Bahamians should all build a culture of preparedness throughout the year and not only during the hurricane season.