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Disaster Preparedness and Response Act (No. 4 of 2006)
This act provides for a more effective organisation of the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters in The Bahamas.
Active transparency (Section 8(2))
The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan shall include procedures for informing the public in The Bahamas and elsewhere of the existence of a threatened disaster alert or the existence of a disaster emergency and of the state of affairs during a threatened disaster alert or in the event or the aftermath of a disaster emergency.
Participation in plans, programmes and policies (Sections3(6), 4(2) and 17-19)
Consultative Committees: The Prime Minister after consultation with the Director and each Administrator on a respective Family Island shall appoint a disaster Consultative Committee consisting of not less than five residents of each settlement or town area or district, as the case may be, on a Family Island of whom one shall be designated Chairman, though at any meeting of the Committee when the Administrator is present, the latter shall act as Chairman of the meeting. The Committee shall have the responsibility of assisting the Director and the Administrator in formulating the disaster preparedness measures and in discharging the functions of NEMA in respect of a settlement or town area or district, as the case may be on the Island by the preparation of a draft plan relating to an area represented by the Committee.
The Director shall liaise with persons, institutions and organisations within and without The Bahamas for the purpose of exchanging information and facilitating the harmonisation of the policies of such persons and organisations with those of the Government of The Bahamas relating to the prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters in The Bahamas.
Special area precautionary plans: The Director shall by notice in at least one local newspaper invite submissions from the public relating to the contents of a draft special area precautionary plan. The Director shall allow a period of not less than four weeks and not more than eight weeks for the receipt by him of such submissions . From the date of the invitation to the public, the Director shall on written application by any person permit access to any technical studies used in the preparation of the draft special area precautionary plan. When the draft special area precautionary plan is ready, the Director shall publish the same in at least one local newspaper and invite comments thereupon from members of the public including the presentation of it at a meeting of members of the public for that purpose. After the public input has been obtained, the Director shall consider what, if any, revisions ought to be made in the draft special area precautionary plan in the light of the comments and submit the draft plan to the Prime Minister with such revisions if any. The amendment of the special area precautionary plan shall also comply with the aforementioned.
Right to appeal (Section 26)
Any person aggrieved by a special area precautionary plan for a specially vulnerable area, who desires to question its validity or the validity of any provisions in it on the grounds that it is not within the powers of this Act or that any requirement of this Act has not been complied with in relation to the approval or preparation of the plan, may within six weeks from the date on which the notice is published in the Gazette, make an application to the Supreme Court under this section in accordance with any Rules of Court for the time being in force.
Environmental education (Section 4(2))
The Director shall conduct programmes of public information and education on the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters.