How to Assist the Bahamas Recover from Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian left a trail of death and destruction in the Bahamas after making landfall as a Category 5 storm on September 1. Rescue and aid efforts have begun in the Caribbean nation, which Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said suffered a potential “generational devastation,” according to The Guardian. The death toll has risen to 20 Bahamians.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” Minnis told reporters on September 4. “No effort or resources will be held back.”

The hurricane, which made landfall in North Carolina on September 6 as a Category 1 storm, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and reportedly wiped out entire communities, according to CNBC. Aid agencies from around the globe are now traveling to the Bahamas to offer disaster relief.

The US Agency for International Development announced that teams from Los Angeles, California and Fairfax, Virginia are flying to search for survivors on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. Marvin Dames, the Bahamian Minister of National Security, said that a British naval vessel is providing food and water to residents and clearing streets of debris, CNN reported.

Companies have also stepped up to offer support to the Bahamas, according to USA Today. Royal Caribbean International, which leases a private island called CocoCay in the Bahamas, announced that it is partnering with the Bahamian government and a nonprofit to deliver food and supplies.

“We’re with you Bahamas. In the wake of Dorian, we’re mobilizing our fleet to help those who need it. In partnerships with the Bahamian government [and] The Bahamas Feeding Network tomorrow we’ll deliver +43k water bottles, 10k meals, generators, supplies [and] we’re just getting started,” Royal Caribbean tweeted.

Disney, which also leases a private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay, announced it would commit $1 million in cash and “in-kind support” to help relief and recovery efforts. “We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

For those hoping to support those recovering from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, there are several organizations that offer ways to help.

Prime Minister Minnis asked that people donate to the Salvation Army because it works with the Bahamian government’s National Emergency Management Agency.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, which is the municipal authority for Freeport, set up the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation. The foundation lists ways to help the people of the Bahamas, including drop-off sites for supplies around the United States.

The City of Miami is collecting disaster relief supplies that will be delivered to affected areas in the Bahamas in an initiative called BAHAMASTRONG. The relief effort is asking for water, canned goods, can openers, mosquito spray, sunscreen, diapers, baby formula, first aid items, flashlights, batteries, and small generators. Drop-off locations in Miami can be found on the website.

The National Association of the Bahamas is accepting donations on its website and has established drop-off locations in Florida for relief supplies, including non-perishable food, clothes, and toiletries.

The organization Global Giving established the Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund with a goal of raising $2 million. The fundraiser, which will provide emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine, has received 5,009 donations so far and raised $528,238.

Bahamian organization HeadKnowles set up a GoFundMe to raise $10 million for the relief effort. HeadKnowles raised more than $2 million in 2015 for Hurricane Joaquin relief and more than $4 million for Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Over 7,500 donors have contributed $850,360 to the organization’s current relief effort.

The Red Cross, which has 200 volunteers in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, is taking online donations for its efforts. Stephen McAndrew, deputy director for the Americas of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told The New York Times that the Bahamas is in urgent need of shelter, food, water, medicine, and communications.

Yacht Aid Global, which works with yachts in the region to deliver emergency supplies, is raising funds to provide disaster relief to the communities of Grand Bahama, Abaco, and the surrounding Cays.

International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian nonprofit, is accepting donations on its website. The organization plans to send medical groups to areas affected by the hurricane.

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.