Photo: Hurricane Dorian and the Bahamas

Communications is Critical to Quick Response: Hurricane Dorian and the Bahamas

Posted on December 12, 2019 by Michael Corley, consultant with The Patterson Foundation & NetHope
Hurricane Dorian devastated the communications (telephone, internet, etc.) infrastructure on many of the Bahamian islands. The Patterson Foundation partner, NetHope, responded quickly to restore communications connectivity on the islands so relief organizations and government officials could respond more accurately and efficiently. TPF invested up to $100,000 to support NetHope’s work.

Dorian is 3+ months removed from our daily news, and yet the work continues. The following is a brief update on the work completed by NetHope:
  • NetHope connected 45 sites in Abaco, Grand Bahama, and Nassau since September
  • These sites will receive connectivity services until mid-December (original plan was to provide connectivity services for 3 months)
  • The last team (NetHope and partners) will deploy in early December to decommission the 45 sites and collect the equipment
  • Any reusable equipment will be sent back to UNHRD in Panama for future deployments in the region
  • Initial lessons learned with regards to operations was carried out with partners on October 22, 2019
  • A more inclusive lessons learned will be scheduled in early 2020 to improve our response effectiveness in the future
  • There are ongoing discussions with the Bahamian government to see how NetHope can support the reconstruction effort and build resilience for future hurricanes
As you can see, in early 2020, NetHope will take time to assess how it approached its response in the Bahamas and adjust accordingly. And then, NetHope will get ready for next hurricane season.

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