JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- A Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Disaster Relief Warehouse (DRW) project, located at Freeport, Grand Bahama, survived Hurricane Dorian after the storm caused widespread devastation to the island in September.
After being pummeled for 38 hours straight of category 5 hurricane force winds, the DRW stood strong and was able to provide life-saving supplies to local inhabitants after the storm passed.
“We received news last month that the warehouse we constructed for the intended purpose of disaster support withstood the forces of nature and delivered as designed,” said NAVFAC Southeast Commanding Officer Capt. Mike Monreal. “A direct link to infrastructure readiness, resiliency, and supporting the Navy and humanitarian assistance missions.”
Initial reconnaissance flights conducted by U.S. Northern Command reported that the DRW remained intact. Flooding from Hurricane Dorian prevented National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) personnel from reaching the facility for two days. Once water levels subsided, NEMA was able to access the warehouse and distribute much needed supplies to the local population.
NAVFAC Southeast Contingency Engineer Don Maconi stated, “The ability of the DRW to withstand a category 5 hurricane is a good indication of the resiliency of the emergency related facilities that NAVFAC Southeast designs and builds throughout the Caribbean.”
The $895,489 warehouse was designed and constructed under a NAVFAC Southeast contract awarded September 2012 under the Department of Defense (DOD) Humanitarian Assistance (HA) program.
The DRW was completed in November 2013. The 4,800 square foot facility is equipped with an office meeting space, secure storage space, restrooms, warehouse pilot storage, 40 pallet racks, a 20-kilowatt gas generator and a 1,000-gallon rainwater storage tank.
At the time of completion, the DRW was turned over to NEMA, a Bahamian government agency.
The HA mission includes several DOD programs that build infrastructures to provide essential services and meet basic human needs, ensuring the well-being of local populations. This includes access to and delivery of water, food, temporary shelter, sanitation and health services.
Since 2009, NAVFAC Southeast has constructed over 40 HA projects throughout the Caribbean. These projects are not just warehouses and storage facilities; they also include Emergency Operation Centers, community centers and medical clinics.