NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas Postal Service has issued a Hurricane Awareness Commemorative Postage Stamp, highlighting the importance of hurricane preparedness.
The collection of four stamps, one of which displays the logo of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), at a cost of 70 cents, will be made available Tuesday, September 28, 2010.
The remaining three stamps depicts palm trees swaying in high winds at 15 cents; a hurricane map tracking the storm across The Bahamas for 50 cent; and a reconnaissance aircraft flying through a storm to measure its intensity, for 65 cents.
The National Emergency Management Agency is the coordinating agency, which activates the Emergency Operations Centre when a disaster hits the country.
Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA said he was pleased that the Bahamas Postal Service issued a hurricane commemorative stamp to highlight the importance of hurricane preparedness in the country.
“It is our desire at NEMA, that each time someone sends or receives a package with any of the ‘Hurricane Awareness postage stamps; it would evoke thoughts on the state of hurricane preparedness in their homes, community and island, resulting in greater hurricane awareness in The Bahamas” he said.
The agency has developed over the years from the 1970s, but following the passage of Hurricane Andrew in August 1992, a permanent disaster relief arm of the government was established. It was not until after the passage of Hurricane Floyd that the Recovery Sub-Committee was formed on September 24, 1999.
The hurricane committees role was expanded to include preparedness for all forms of disaster – the beginning of the Disaster Management Committee (DMC) comprising members from government ministries and agencies.
The Recovery Sub-Committee was renamed the Disaster Management Unit (DMU), the focus was expanded to include the concept of comprehensive disaster management. To reflect this, the name was changed to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The agency conducts annual training programmes throughout the Family Islands, where representatives have been asked to prepare disaster response plans.
The Bahamas Postal Service programme for 2010 include: Friends of the Environment – March 3, 2010; the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, June 18, 2010; Hurricane Awareness, September 20, 2010; and Christmas 2010, November 10, 2010.
By Lindsay Thompson
Bahamas Information Services