For Dellerece, building a better future 20 years ago meant moving to the island of Grand Bahama.
“I thought it would be a dream, so much better to raise a family and find work. It’s become a different story than we all thought,” the native of nearby Eleuthera island said.
The day Hurricane Dorian swept through her community on Grand Bahama, she watched the water rise faster than she could comprehend. She was rescued with a jet ski by a neighbor.
Dellerece has since sought refuge with a friend as she figures out her next steps. She says her two dogs and grandkids keep her going, as does the supply of emergency relief items she’s received from the Red Cross: drinking water, a portable stove, food, hygiene items, buckets and other aid.
Coping after the storm
“Everything is gone. Absolutely everything. The house has suffered such extreme water damage that it’s become unlivable. We are starting from scratch; building from the bottom up now.”
Red Cross teams are going directly to the hardest hit neighborhoods to deliver supplies since many residents have lost their main modes of transportation.
“I bathe in the bucket you guys gave me because water is still contaminated here. Every day, we use the portable stove to make macaroni and cheese, oatmeal or rice. And, of course, the drinking water—we can’t live without that.”
Her eyes well up as she looks away. “It’s hard, it’s really hard right now. But the little things you gave me are helping me get back up.”
One step at a time
Dellerece is one of thousands of Bahamians who has survived the worst storm in the history of the country. They continue to show up, work hard to restore their lives the best they can, and take life one step at a time in this daunting phase.
While the Red Cross is here to provide aid that people can hold in their hands, teams are also reminding residents of the strength they see in them every day. Nearly two months after the storm hit, that reminder can go a long way.
It’s why Dellerece proudly wears two emblems of hope on her shirt: one to symbolize what she survived in the past, and one to remind her she’ll never walk alone on the journey ahead with the Red Cross by her side.
Recovery continues in the Bahamas
Two months after Hurricane Dorian swept through the island nation, thousands of people are still receiving help from the Bahamas Red Cross with support from the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network.
As part of these efforts, the American Red Cross has contributed more than $6 million thus far and has deployed 36 relief specialists across three islands: Abaco, Grand Bahama, and New Providence (where the capital city, Nassau, is located). As some residents begin to return home, teams are distributing relief supplies to the hardest hit neighborhoods, spreading vital health messages, and working to reconnect people with their loved ones.
In addition, the Red Cross has begun a financial assistance program to help the most vulnerable families impacted by the storm—getting cash into their hands, which they can use to meet their individual needs and restore a sense of normalcy to their lives.
For more information about the American Red Cross’s work in the Bahamas, visit: redcross.org/dorian.