There’s a long road ahead for people in the Bahamas who have lost everything to Hurricane Dorian and the American Red Cross has committed $4.5 million to support those affected.
The American Red Cross has also deployed 21 disaster response specialists to provide support to the relief operation in the Bahamas and worked in close coordination with partners to support evacuees who arrived in the United States from the Bahamas immediately following the hurricane.
Thousands of people have evacuated the damaged islands via helicopter, plane and boat. They are staying on different islands with family members or at government-run shelters in the capital city.
Families who remain on the devastated islands are in need of basic relief, such as emergency shelter supplies and hygiene items—which Red Cross teams are distributing on both Abaco and Grand Bahama. Red Cross shelter, water and sanitation, health, logistics, cash-as-aid and other sector specialists are on the ground supporting the Bahamas Red Cross.
Aid is also being delivered to storm survivors in places not majorly affected by the storm, such as Nassau, where Bahamas Red Cross volunteers are helping evacuees by distributing relief items to shelters including water, hygiene items, dried food parcels other supplies and food vouchers. As with any disaster, there are challenges to delivering aid such as damaged ports and airports, devastated infrastructure, and difficulties with tele-connectivity.
Tele-connectivity challenges mean that many people still haven’t been able to get in touch with loved ones. In shelters, volunteers are helping evacuees make phone calls to their families. When necessary, volunteers are initiating missing persons cases with the hope of tracing loved ones. Trained psychologists and nurses are providing comfort and mental health support to evacuees coping with emotional distress.
If you have lost contact with a US citizen traveling in the Bahamas, contact the U.S. State Department at 1-888-407- 4747.