by Lindsay Sullivan
“Dorian won’t budge” warned the National Hurricane Center in its hourly update on September 2. Slow moving and deadly, Hurricane Dorian hung over the Bahamas, trapping people for nearly two days. Now we’re seeing the devastation left in the wake of the Category 5 storm.
Hurricane Dorian pummeled homes, flooded roads and took lives. The Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called it “the greatest national crisis in our country’s history.”
The overwhelming storm surge swallowed entire neighborhoods. 13,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and at least 20 people confirmed dead. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue.
A Rapid Response
In the aftermath of a devastating storm like Hurricane Dorian, survivors are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medicine — the very basics of survival. Every minute matters in the midst of a disaster. But what if it happens far away? What if it takes days to gather and ship and distribute the life-saving supplies? With 40 years of experience in disaster response, we’ve found the most vital tool in helping survivors as quickly as possible is this: trusted partnerships.
No organization can operate entirely alone, especially after a crisis hits. Whether it’s sharing information or resources, partnerships enable a response to happen quickly and efficiently. That’s why we’ve worked hard over the years to build relationships with trusted partners — organizations that share our values of accountability, tenacity and courage. These partnerships enable us to quickly gain access to places we haven’t worked before, which means we can mobilize funds and supplies to begin meeting urgent needs immediately.
As the impact of Hurricane Dorian became clear, our long-time partner in the area, MAP International, was ready. They have warehouses pre-positioned with Disaster Health Kits, water filters and other relief supplies. As soon as the storm began to pass, a shipment of Disaster Health Kits was airborne, on its way to survivors. Our generous supporters are helping make sure that these supplies are distributed in hard-hit parts of the Bahamas, and that more supplies are ready in case the storm hits the East Coast.
Disaster Health Kits provide essential items to people who have lost everything, bringing comfort, dignity and health. Each kit is filled with antiseptic wipes, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste and more – enough to support one person living in a shelter for one week.
An initial shipment of 500 Disaster Health Kits have already made it to the Bahamas. 4,000 additional kits are on the way, along with water filters and other emergency supplies. 100 foster children evacuating Brunswick, GA received Disaster Health Kits. In the coming days we anticipate that the needs will grow and we are ready to respond to supply essential medicines, protective gear for first responders and other critical health supplies.
How You Can Help
As the rescue efforts continue, you can be part of bringing relief to thousands. It costs only $10 to send one Disaster Health Kit to a survivor of Hurricane Dorian. These supplies will help stop the spread of disease and restore dignity to people who have lost everything.
With the support of people like you, we stand ready to respond. Your support allows us to go where we’re needed most to ease the suffering of those devastated by crises.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 UPDATE: Tragically, there are now 50 people confirmed dead in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian. People continue to flee from most heavily-damaged islands as critical supplies are unavailable. With your support, our partners have already shipped 5,000 Disaster Health Kits, along with water filters, medicines, and other vital equipment. And more shipments are planned for the coming days.