Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas, leaving behind catastrophic damage and affecting some 76,000 people. According to preliminary damage reports, more than 13,000 houses are believed to have been damaged or destroyed—equivalent to about 45 percent of all dwellings on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands.
Getting relief to people in hard-to-reach places is the number one priority, and with access to the battered islands slowly beginning to open up, the International Federation (IFRC) of the Red Cross and the Bahamas Red Cross are responding. A rapid assessment and response team is moving in to focus on emergency shelter and urgent needs. Red Cross volunteers and staff will also distribute meals and food rations to people who may have gone without food for days, before shifting their focus to distributing cash grants.
Bahamas Red Cross volunteers were on the ground before the storm with pre-positioned relief supplies—such as tarps, hygiene items, jerrycans and hand-crank cell phone chargers. More relief supplies are being loaded at an international logistics hub in Panama and will move soon. Damaged roads and telecommunications infrastructure present challenges, but Red Cross teams are working around the clock to respond to this devastating storm.
In the Bahamas, there is a need for sustained and significant international support. The American Red Cross will be making a financial contribution to help support those affected in the Bahamas. The American Red Cross will also work with our partners to help support people arriving in the U.S. from the Bahamas.
You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Dorian in both the U.S. and the Bahamas. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. In the U.S., this includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance. In the Bahamas, the American Red Cross will be making a financial contribution and partnering with the IFRC and the Bahamas Red Cross to help the islands recover.
For those interested in helping people specifically in the Bahamas, we ask that they write “Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas” in the memo line of a check and mail it to their local Red Cross chapter with the completed the donation form at redcross.org/donate.