Hurricane Preparedness

The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, like all countries in and near the Caribbean Sea, are potentially at risk from hurricanes. The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, although hurricanes have been known to form in other months. August, September, and early October are traditionally the months of highest risk.

If you are traveling or residing in this region during hurricane season, please monitor weather reports regularly.  Plan ahead and consider what you may do if a hurricane or tropical storm develops.  Major hurricanes can cause extensive property damage and loss of life. Do not be caught unprepared! Develop a personal hurricane plan for yourself and your family!

Preparations

Evacuation Options: If your residence is on the ocean or not strongly-built, consider your evacuation options now. The attached list of shelters has been prepared by the Government of the Bahamas. Take the time to locate one or two near your home in case of emergency. Be prepared to bring all of your own supplies and bedding to the shelters, as they have very limited facilities. Another option is to stay with a friend or relative with a more-secure dwelling. A third option is to leave the island by air for a safe-haven in the United States. Please be aware that a major hurricane which threatens Nassau will also pose a serious threat to South Florida. Do no evacuate to Miami Beach, the Florida Keys, or other areas in Florida that are themselves a serious risk from hurricanes.

Watchful Waiting: During the hurricane season, pay close attention to weather forecasts. The U.S., Bahamas and TCI governments will issue regular bulletins on local radio stations. Miami television stations and the Weather Channel (carried by local cable) are also good sources of news.

The following Internet sites provide additional information:

When a Hurricane Threatens: Review your own personal preparations. If you intend to evacuate. get your airline ticket and travel as soon as possible. Aircraft will not operate in hurricane conditions. If you plan to stay, re-check your supplies and secure your home. Pay close attention to Bahamian Government bulletins on the local radio.

If you are a guest in a hotel: The major hotels have hurricane plans. Return to your hotel and follow the instructions given by the management. If a decision is made to cut short your stay and evacuate you early, please comply. Be aware that airports may close and flights may be full/suspended well in advance of a storm.  If you don’t evacuate early, you may be committing yourself to riding out the storm.  It is possible your hotel or resort will provide some form of compensation for missed vacation days.  Even if they won’t, do not take unnecessary risks!

If you are a passenger on a cruise ship: Please return to your ship and follow the instructions given by a captain and ship’s officers.  Be aware that sailing schedules may change and your ship may be diverted.  The captain’s responsibility to ensure the safety of his ship and its passengers is more important than the itinerary!

If you are aboard a private boat: Monitor and seek out guidance from the Coast Guard or the Bahamas Air-Sea Rescue Association (BASRA). Do not attempt to ride out a major hurricane in a small boat.

If a Storm is Imminent: Seek appropriate shelter.  Both The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands are relatively flat and low; flooding following heavy rain (such as a hurricane!) is always a concern.

Shelters:

If You plan to go to a hurricane shelter you should bring:

  • Water (1 – 2 quarts per person per day)
  • Canned foods, Milk & Beverages
  • Baby Food, Diapers, etc.
  • Medicine
  • Toilet Paper, Towelettes
  • Battery operated Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Portable Ice Chest
  • Eating Utensils
  • Blankets or Sleeping Bag
  • Identification and Valuable Papers
  • Cards, Games, Books

After the Storm

Be vary careful when emerging from your home or shelter after the hurricane passes. Live electric wires may be down, and some buildings may be structurally unsafe. Rely on your hurricane kit for food and drinking water until you are informed that local supplies are safe to consume. Since roads may be flooded or blocked by fallen debris, avoid automobile travel unless absolutely necessary.  The U.S. Embassy will attempt to assist injured or stranded American citizens, but telephones and other means of communication may be unavailable in the days immediately after a storm. Routine Embassy services will be restored as soon as possible, given the local circumstances.

Emergency Numbers

Nassau

  • Hospital – 322-2861
  • Ambulance – 322-2861
  • Air Ambulance – 327-7077
  • Fire – 919
  • BASRA – 646-6395 OR 359-4888
  • Police – 911, 919 OR 322-4444
  • Electrical Power Outage – 323-5561/4
  • Water & Sewerage 24 hrs – 325-0505 OR 325-4505

Grand Bahama

  • Hospital – 352-6735
  • Ambulance – 352-2689
  • Fire – 919
  • Fire (Freeport) – 352-8888
  • Fire (Eight Mile Rock & West End) – 348-34444
  • BASRA – 322-3877 OR 325-8864
  • Police (Freeprot) – 919
  • Police (Eight Mile Rock) 348-6444
  • Police (West End) 346-6444
  • Electrical Power Outage – 352-8411
  • Electrical Power Outage (Eight Mile Rock & West End) 348-2345
  • Water (Freeport) – 352-8411
  • Telephone Repairs – 914

Emergency Hurricane Shelters – Nassau

Know the location of the nearest emergency shelter which include:

  • Aquinas College – Madeira Street
  • Bahamas Academy – Madeira Street
  • Baptist Bible Church – Soldier Road
  • Bethel Baptist Church – Meeting Street
  • C.H. Reeves – Robinson Road
  • C.R. Walker – Blue Hill Road
  • Calvary Bible Church – Collins Avenue
  • Church of Christ – Kemp Road
  • Church of God Auditorium – Joe Farrington Rd
  • Claridge Primary School – Claridge Road
  • College of The Bahamas – Oakes Field
  • E.P. Roberts Primary School – Lincoln Blvd.
  • Evangelistic Temple – Collins Ave.
  • East St. Gospel Chapel – East Street
  • Epworth Hall – Shirley Street
  • Gambier Village School- Gambier Village
  • Golden Gates Assemble – Golden Gates
  • Hillview Seventh Day – Harrold Road
  • Holy Epiphany Church – Prince Charles
  • Holy Family Church – Robinson Road
  • Jehovah’s Witness Headquarters – Dolphin Drive
  • Kemp Road Baptist Church – Kemp Road
  • Mission Baptist Church – Hay Street
  • Mt. Tabor Union Baptist Church – Pinewood Gardens
  • Nassau Christian Academy – Soldier Road
  • New Bethlehem Baptist Church – Independence Drive
  • New Covenant Baptist Church – Independence Drive
  • New Hope Missionary Baptist Church – Joan’s Height
  • Our Lady’s Church Hall – Deveaux Street
  • Queen’s College – Village Road
  • Salem Union Baptist Church – Taylor Street
  • Salvation Army – Meadow Street
  • Salvation Army – Mackey Street
  • Sandilands Primary School – Fox Hill
  • Sir Gerald Cash Primary School – Flamingo Gardens
  • St. Augustine’s Monastery – Bernard Road
  • St. Barnabas Church Hall – Wulff Road
  • St. Bede’s Church Hall – Sutton Street
  • St. Gregory Church Hall – Carmichael Road
  • St. James Parish Church – St. James Road
  • St. Michael’s Youth Centre – Church Hill Ave.
  • St. Thomas Moore School – Palmdale Ave.
  • Wesley Methodist Church – Baillou Hill Road
  • Woodcock Primary School – Hospital Lane
  • Worker’s House – Harrold Road
  • Zion Baptist Church – South Beach

If You plan to go to a hurricane shelter you should bring:

  • Water (1 – 2 quarts per person per day)
  • Canned foods, Milk & Beverages
  • Baby Food, Diapers, etc.
  • Medicine
  • Toilet Paper, Towelettes
  • Battery operated Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Portable Ice Chest
  • Eating Utensils
  • Blankets or Sleeping Bag
  • Identification and Valuable Papers
  • Cards, Games, Books

Grand Turk

Green Door   at the Old Naval Base, Lighthouse Road

TCICC – Common Room at the Old Naval Base, Lighthouse Road (standby)

Salt Clay

Salt Cay Hurricane Shelter (Club House), South District

Salt Cay Methodist Church Hall, North District

South Caicos

Mt Olivet Baptist Church, Downtown Central

Wellness Centre #1 (geriatric), Downtown Central

Middle Caicos

Conch Bar Community Centre, Central Town Area

Bambarra Community Centre, Central Town Area

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Central Town Area

North Caicos

Lighthouse Church, Richmond, Bottle Creek

Kew Community Centre, Central Area, Kew

Providenciales

Precious Treasures School, near Light Industrial sub-division, Discovery Bay

Osetta Jolly Primary School, Blue Hills

Safe Harbors

Fishermen and other small craft operators are advised that the following are designated safe harbours for the hurricane season.

South Caicos: Conch Ground

Middle Caicos: Half-A-Creek

North Caicos: Ferry Landing, Bottle Creek – The Creek, Kew, Bellefield Landing, Sandy Point, The Blue

Pine Cay: Pine Cay cove

Providenciales: Chalk Sound, Sellars Pond, Sapodilla bay

Salt Cay: Dean’s Dock, South Dock

Grand Turk: South Creek (small boats), North Creek