Hurricane Dorian unleashed unrelenting rain, devastating winds, and extensive flooding as it hit the northwestern Bahamas as a category 5 storm, specifically the Abacos Islands and Grand Bahamas, Sunday night and Monday morning. It is reportedly the strongest storm worldwide this year and the strongest to have ever hit the Bahamas, with 185 mph winds.
Gusts of wind were recorded at up to 220 mph, reports Vox. Early reports from the Bahamas show acute damage with officials unable to make an initial confirmation of casualties. As of late Monday morning, it has been downgraded to a category 4 as it slowly makes its way over the islands. As many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed.
As the Bahamas contend with the aftermath of the most damaging hurricane to have ever hit the country, those looking to help and offer their support can do so in a variety of ways. Here are organizations, both local and international, that are seeking help in aiding in the country’s recovery.
Bahamas Red Cross is asking people to donate non-perishable goods, baby supplies, bedding, and cleaning items for them to distribute to the areas most affected by Hurricane Dorian using the hashtag #HelpUsHelp to create awareness. So far, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have contributed 250,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to supplement funding for the first wave of the Bahamas Red Cross.
Bahamas Relief is calling on people to donate goods for immediate disaster relief, including: toiletries, diapers, canned goods, cleaning supplies, tents, water, and power generators. The organization has been tweeted out by Florida House Rep. Shevrin Jones.
International Medical Corps is a worldwide humanitarian nonprofit focusing on emergency responders and early relief efforts. They will also be delivering healthcare supplies and deploying medical teams.
Team Rubicon Disaster Response is an international disaster relief nonprofit organization made up of military veterans and first responders who do everything from rebuilding houses to clearing debris and helping organize large groups of volunteers. They already have volunteers and relief on standby waiting until it is safe to go into the affected areas. They also went to the Bahamas early to help put up sandbags and board up windows.
World Central Kitchen Founded by D.C. chef and restaurateur José Andrés, World Central Kitchen will be setting up kitchens once Hurricane Dorian has moved further north in order to bring food to people in affected areas. Andrés is already in the Bahamas, about 80 miles from the eye of the storm, working to feed people there.