#Nassau, August 7, 2019 – Bahamas – The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, is continuing its mandate issued by Prime Minister the Most Hon Dr Hubert Minnis to enhance its social media platform as a disaster mitigation tool.
In this vein, Aliv, which is part of NEMA’s Communications Emergency Support Function group, stepped up and donated cell phones to members of the NEMA-UB Tech Squad.
The tech quad was created in 2017 to augment NEMA’s communication mechanism in disseminating emergency messages throughout the entire country before, during and after a disaster.
Managed by Lindsay Thompson, Public Information Officer for NEMA, the squad comprises students from the University of The Bahamas, under the Health and Safety department.
On Friday, July 12, 2019 Aliv presented the 10-member NEMA-UB Tech Squad with cell phones with unlimited data in order to perform tasks mainly on NEMA’s Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell underscored the importance of effective communication before, during and after a hurricane or any other disaster, natural or man-made.
He noted that during Hurricane Joaquin in 2015, it was a challenge in keeping up with informing residents particularly in the Southeast Bahamas, which were severely impacted. And as a result of “erroneous information” fed to the public, this prompted NEMA to enhance its communications mechanism via social media.
“NEMA is glad students are able to come on stream and partner with us to get messages out. We need partnerships in order to keep the country safe,” said Capt Russell.
He added, “Over the past 10 years, The Bahamas has been faced with a number of emergencies – boating mishaps, plane crashes. Hence a social media platform is crucial.”
Dwayne Davis, Chief Aliv Information Officer said, “Aliv is excited to be involved in such an important initiative. In 2016 when Aliv was coming on stream, it built towers on the islands and we have not lost one tower during a disaster. We are a new company and we are big on social media and we are excited to give the NEMA-UB Tech Squad phones with free plan, which would work on every single island.”
Aliv is also aware of post hurricane recovery, hence hurricane kits were presented to each student.
Prestonia Wallace, Director of Health and Safety at UB said the institution understands that “team work makes the dream work”.
“Hence, we are happy to present this enthusiastic group of students with tech savvy skills to volunteer their time.”
The students were excited to have been chosen for such responsibility and look forward to being part of the communication team during the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season – June 1 to November 30.
Photo Caption:The NEMA-UB Tech Squad were outfitted with cell phones donated by Aliv to aid in the dissemination of information on social media, during disasters. Pictured from left are Captain Stephen Russell, Director, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Leonardo Swain, student, University of The Bahamas; Prestonia Wallace, Director, Office of Health and Safety, University of The Bahamas; Glenisha Albury, UB student; Dwayne Davis, Chief Aliv Information Officer; Gail Outten-Moncur, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, NEMA; Lindsay Thompson, Public Information Officer, NEMA; and Nathaniel Thompson, UB student.