2017 Caribbean Hurricane Disaster Relief

One of the strongest Category 5 storms on record, Hurricane Irma slammed into the Caribbean islands on September 5, before moving on to Florida on September 10. The storm almost completely destroyed the infrastructure of some islands, displacing thousands of people and resulting in over 40 fatalities and $12.9 billion in damage in the Caribbean alone.

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While the region was still reeling from Hurricane Irma, another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Maria, battered the Caribbean islands beginning on September 18. As the storm moved north, it left widespread destruction in its wake. The combined impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria have left much of the Caribbean reeling. In a single day, Hurricane Maria dumped nearly 40 inches of rain on Puerto Rico leaving the entire island – a population of 3.4 million – without power while also wiping out roughly 80% of the island’s crops. In the Dominican Republic, residents suffered strong winds, rain and a storm surge of up to six feet. As of September 25, an estimated 1.5 million residents did not have a clean water supply. The storm also damaged and destroyed homes and building on the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.

The small island of Dominica was left particularly devastated by Hurricane Maria, with “mind-boggling” damage. The small island of only 73,000 residents saw sustained winds of up to 160 miles per hour, which shattered Dominica’s already weak infrastructure. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), all 53 health centers on Dominica were affected in some way, and 100% of the island’s crops were destroyed. The situation is even more severe given the fact that Dominica was still recovering from the destruction of Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, which left billions of dollars in damage in its wake.

In times of such disasters, The Resource Foundation quickly mobilizes resources and reaches out to its local network to assess the situation as well as local needs and responses to determine where donors’ support can be best invested. The Resource Foundation partners with local non‐profit organizations that provide long‐term reconstruction and recovery assistance in areas afflicted by natural disasters. These organizations can quickly assess needs on the ground and develop initiatives that offer ongoing assistance in the medium and long-term so that victims can rebuild their homes, reestablish their businesses and restore their livelihoods.

TRF is currently in communication with its local partners to evaluate needs and identify areas for collaboration in affected communities.

If you would like to contribute to hurricane disaster relief efforts, please visit our donation page.

 

Cover photo: “Devastation of the island of Jost Van Dyke after hurricane Irma” by DFID – UK Department for International Development is licensed under CC BY 2.0