How to help the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas


Areas of the northern Bahamas were devastated by Hurricane Dorian (Pictures: Getty/EPA/PA/Reuters)

Hurricane Dorian – one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded – caused devastation over the Bahamas earlier this week.

The death toll has since risen from seven to 20 and is expected to increase as searchers continue over the coming days.

The category five killer storm wiped out homes and, in some cases, entire neighbourhoods and communities, leaving behind a heartbreaking path of destruction.

As many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed, following the sustained wind speeds of 185mph.

Hubert Minnis, the Bahamas Prime Minister, said in a news conference: ‘We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history.

‘No effort or resources will be held back.’

There were high winds and rain for more than two days (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)

There are a number of organisations, both locally and nationally, helping the country to get back on its feet.

Donating goods

An option if you, or anyone you know, are either travelling to the Bahamas or heading to the USA or Canada.

Bahamas Relief is calling on people to donate items of immediate need such as power generators, toiletries, canned goods, cleaning supplies, tents and water.

There are a number of drop-off locations in the USA or Canada listed on the website. If dropping something off isn’t possible, you can donate money to trusted partners via the official website.

The Bahamas branch of the Red Cross is looking for urgent donations of non-perishable goods such as nappies, cleaning supplies and bedding.

It’s estimated approximately 76,000 people – the vast majority of residents – have been affected, so physical materials are widely needed.

The Red Cross also currently has around 200 volunteers in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama helping out. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has contributed 250,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to supplement funding.

The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation website offers suggestions on how to help and features several addresses where donors can drop off supplies in the US.

Homes, neighbourhoods and communities were destroyed (Picture: ABACA/PA Images)

Donating money

For those further afield, donating money is a great way to contribute to relief efforts.

World Central Kitchen, the brainchild of chef José Andrés, provides food for communities after natural disasters.

José and his team have already arrived in the Bahamas and are looking for places where they can set up kitchens in the affected areas. There’s the option to donate once or give monthly.

Team Rubicon UK’s ‘Greyshirts’ volunteers are heading to Grand Bahama and Abaco, two of the worst hit islands, where they will use their specialist military backgrounds to get aid to the most cut-off
communities.

Team Rubicon UK anticipates its Greyshirts will be in the region for eight weeks, distributing shelter, water purification kits, and supplies to wherever needs it most, by whatever means possible.

For further information and to donate, visit the Team Rubicon UK website: teamrubiconuk.org/donate.

Global Giving has set up a Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund, for emergency supplies such as food, water and medicine as well as to help residents with long term recovery and rebuilds.

So far almost £300,000 as been donated, towards the goal of £1,475,777.

Worldwide humanitarian non-profit organisation International Medical Corps is focusing on delivering healthcare supplies and assisting with medical teams. The donation page can be found here.

Bahamian organisation HeadKnowles previously organised relief operations during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Joaquin in 2015. They’ve set up a site through Go Fund Me.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has said anyone looking to help could donate to the Salvation Army, as it works closely with the government’s National Emergency Management Agency. On its website it pledges that 100% of each donation goes directly to relief efforts.

Clara Lionel Foundation, the non-profit founded by singer Rihanna, is providing aid to the Bahamas and you can donate here.

There’s lots that can be done to help (Picture: ABACA/PA Images)

Research

As with any financial donation, it’s important to look into the background of an organisation and where exactly the money is going.

A number of tools are available online to do this, including Charity Navigator or Guidestar.

In fact, Charity Navigator offers a list on its website of reputable charities working in the Bahamas.

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