Relief for the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

 Relief for the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

The Bahamas have suffered terrible destruction. If you would like to help, here are a few ideas...

By Daria Blackwell - 12/09/2019

At least 50 people are dead, hundreds are missing, and some 70,000 are homeless in the Abacos and Grand Bahama. There is no power or running water. Rescue crews are evacuating families to other islands. Thousands are living in shelters. People have lost everything. The category 5 storm was so powerful, few could escape.

Hundreds of searchers, assisted by teams of dog handlers from the U.S., Canada and Belgium, are going door to door across Abaco and Grand Bahama, the islands worst hit by Dorian’s strike. It could take weeks or months for them to finish their work, according to Health Minister Duane Sands.

Aid is arriving slowly on the island of Grand Bahama, where Dorian lingered for almost two days and caused damage reminiscent of a war zone. The Bahamian government is overwhelmed. Right now emergency rescue and aid are being provided by the United States Coast Guard, the British Navy, cruise ship companies, and other groups already working on the ground in the Bahamas.

Small private vessels are discouraged from going into the disaster areas at this time. Logistical and safety concerns include dangerous debris in the water, potential violence by desperate people, and health issues. From past hurricane disaster relief efforts, the importance of funding at this critical stage is well known.

YachtAid Global (YAG), Eagles' Wings, and Samaritan's Purse are on the ground in the Bahamas actively helping right now. All are licensed non-profit organisations, operated by or utilizing volunteers for outreach, and have agreements and permission from the Bahamian authorities.

Samaritan's Purse (SP) has a mobile medical hospital (deploying field units and barge(s) with supplies). Samaritan's Purse did an amazing job in Dominica after Hurricane Maria.

YAG has larger power vessels that can move items to areas without land or air access. Eagles' Wings has a supply warehouse in Florida and planes for delivery. Both groups will need access to smaller vessels for distribution of relief aid in the coming weeks. They also offer opportunities for volunteer support from concerned citizens.

International Rescue Group (IRG) organizes volunteers with small vessels and is standing by to assist in coordinating post-Dorian. They have a small team of 5 people coordinating boats in conjunction with the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) Yacht Relief Alliance to match volunteer IRG Reserve boats and crews with volunteers and donated relief supplies to transport to Abaco and Grand Bahama. IRG has a number of generators in-store to transport to the Bahamas. Donations to help fund fuel for boats would be most appreciated!

The Bahamas Red Cross is the central relief organisation and has a herculean task ahead. They are actively seeking volunteers. To volunteer or to donate, follow the link below.

The OCC is aware that members are planning passages to the Bahamas and the Caribbean from both North America and Europe and may wish to help. The General Committee is investigating ways that our members can assist in transporting needed supplies to remote areas. Stay tuned for more details as the situation unfolds, and a determination can be made about needs and how best to meet them.

In the meantime, please consider donating to one of the organizations mentioned here that are already on the ground in the Bahamas working effectively with Bahamian authorities. Links are provided below.

Many of our members have a special relationship with the islands and their people. Our hearts and prayers reach out to the survivors of Hurricane Dorian.

Update 13/09/19
Please see Notice from the Association of Bahamas Marinas and the Bahamas Government Resource page.


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