How We’re Responding to Hurricane Dorian’s Historic Devastation

How We’re Responding to Hurricane Dorian’s Historic Devastation

By now, it’s clear that Hurricane Dorian will rank among the most destructive Atlantic storms ever recorded, and its legacy will be felt for years to come. The severity of the devastation has prompted Good360 to launch a major donation effort in partnership with relief organizations operating in the impact zone, our network of corporate donors, and UPS.

The Category 5 hurricane was not only the strongest to ever hit the Bahamas; it was also the slowest. Moving just 25 miles in 24 hours, the hurricane stalled for more than a day over the northern Bahamas’ Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, allowing 185 mile-per-hour winds and massive rain surge to overwhelm the low-lying tourist mecca. 

The ferocity and slow pace of the storm combined to deliver an unprecedented level of destruction:

  • At least 50 people have been killed with hundreds more still missing.
  • The United Nations reports that at least 70,000 people have been left homeless, and tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed. 
  • Entire neighborhoods have been leveled. In parts of Marsh Harbour, the biggest town in Abaco, virtually nothing is still standing
  • Thousands of people are in desperate need of basic necessities such as clean water, food and shelter.
  • The hurricane also devastated illegally constructed shantytowns that housed the poorest people living in the Bahamas.

As Dorian moved northward, it grazed the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia. Although the Eastern seaboard was spared the worst of Dorian’s fury, hundreds of thousands of people lost power and flooding occurred in some areas. 

Good360 has launched a major humanitarian effort to get critically needed relief supplies to impacted communities in the Bahamas as soon as it’s logistically possible. We have already secured commitments for more than $1 million in donated goods destined for the islands.

At this stage, one of our most important tasks is to ensure “last mile verification” — making sure that the supplies we’re procuring from our donors actually reach the people who need it most. In the chaotic aftermath of disasters of this scale, logistical challenges and a lack of coordination on the ground can lead to waste as relief supplies sit in crowded docks or otherwise go undistributed and unused. After Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in 2017, entire semi-truck containers of donations were discovered spoiling in a parking lot.

We are working closely with UPS, one of our most trusted partners, to secure ocean freight that can reach the Bahamas. We are also coordinating with relief agencies working in the impact zone, including All Hands and Hearts; SBP, a New Orleans-based nonprofit specializing in disaster recovery; Team Rubicon; the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation, and the National Emergency Management Agency in the Bahamas.

Currently, we are collecting relief-oriented supplies, including shelf-stable food items, solar-powered lights, tarps, generators, bedding, diapers and baby wipes, medical supplies, personal hygiene products, and water filters. Our product donors include MPOWERD, Citizen Watch, Nice-Pak, CLIF Bar, LifeStraw, CVS Health, TD Bank, LuminAid, Sleep Number and Casper.

From our experience with disasters of this type, we know that full recovery for the Bahamas will be years in the making. We stand ready to help the islands in this long journey toward rebuilding and reconstruction.

If you would like to contribute to our disaster recovery efforts in the Bahamas, a cash donation will give us the most flexibility in terms of providing aid to the islands. For every $1 donated, we can distribute at least $10 in donated goods. If you represent a company that wishes to make a donation of supplies, please contact Jim Alvey, who leads our disaster recovery corporate partnerships.  Jim can be reached at jalvey@good360.org.

Tiffany Everett
Tiffany Everett
tiffany@good360.org

Tiffany is a dedicated nonprofit leader leveraging years of experience in program development and evaluation, promoting mission alignment and seeking new ways to engage the community to holistically serve individuals impacted by disaster. Tiffany received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Maryland.



 
// Added by SM - 2019-06-06 // End of SM edits