Hurricane Dorian – Helping after Natural Disasters

by Maddy Taylor

On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, was the most powerful tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas, reaching its peak as a Category 5. The estimated $7 billion in property damage was catastrophic; most structures were destroyed or swept out to sea. Over 70,000 people were left homeless, with at least 50 deaths on record and over 2,500 people missing. Evacuations occurred along the Florida, Georgia, South & North Carolina and Virginia coasts, leaving behind considerable damage and economic loss after finally dissipating near Greenland on September 10th.    See full article from New York Times here.

“After lives have been settled and restored, we need the environment to be restored.”   Bahamian minister of the environment, Romauld Ferreira

Whenever a natural disaster strikes, one of the resources we offer our employees year-round is a one-stop list of King County Employee Giving Program nonprofits that are responding.  Workplace Giving dollars are incredibly valuable for these organizations. They help them to plan for the unexpected and invest in long-term recovery.

Join us for our online Expo about Hurricane Dorian and Natural Disaster Relief work on October 17, 2019.

American Red Cross 9343

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Red Cross is on the ground in response and recovery for those affected by Hurricane Dorian. 100s of people are in shelters and have had to leave many of their belongings behind. Hope, dignity, shelter and food is being provided to those in both the Bahamas and the southern coastline.

AmeriCares 3540

Americares has deployed an emergency medical team to the Bahamas to meet the immediate health needs of families left homeless by Hurricane Dorian. The team is providing essential primary care services and lifesaving medicines, in a Nassau evacuation shelter housing more than 400 children and adults. The evacuees include families from the most devastated areas, including the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. The Americares medical team includes a physician and a mental health expert, as well as nurses, emergency medical technicians and clinical coordinators experienced in providing care in disaster situations. The health-focused relief and development organization is also delivering emergency shipments of medicine and relief supplies for survivors. The organization is coordinating its response with the Pan American Health Organization, the local government and local and international organizations responding to the crisis.

Best Friends Animal Society  5007

Best Friends Animal Society operates a Network Partner program that connects almost 2,000 smaller non-profit animal rescue groups to resources, including funding, to save more animals. Best Friends Animal Society’s disaster response team is working hard to transport dogs and cats out of shelters in the storm’s path and assist shelters with much-needed supplies and resources.  Stay up-to-date on the latest Hurricane Dorian news on the Best Friends Facebook page.

Bloodworks Northwest 9054

Bloodworks sent an emergency shipment of 40 pints to Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian. This was at their direct request due to so many cancellations of blood drives they had with the storm coming. The shipment was sent to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 8/30/19. Our ability to respond to disasters starts with a stable local blood supply and the generosity of the community.

Church World Service 3504

Church World Service will respond in the Bahamas, particularly in regards to long-term recovery. We are working with ACT Alliance and other partners to conduct initial assessments and determine the best ways to help. In the United States, we’re preparing for early response with CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Blankets Hygiene Kits and School Kits. We are engaging with partners on the ground to help ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors have the care and support they will need to recover over the longer term.”

Feed My Starving Children 3588

FMSC is shipping two containers (544,320 MannaPack™ meals) this week. We know the need will grow in the days ahead. “The Bahamas clearly has great need and our on-the-ground church-based partner is seeking support. Thank you FMSC for our deep partnership,” one of our food partners in the Bahamas told us. We’re already dealing with a 70 million meal gap – a gap you are working furiously to close. But the wake of Hurricane Dorian makes the need even more urgent. By sending these meals, we are stepping out in faith that the funds will come through.

International Medical Corps 3526

International Medical Corps is deploying an emergency response team of six people to the Bahamas, consisting of a team leader/medical coordinator, mental health and psychosocial support services (MHPSS) specialists, and logisticians. They will coordinate with government agencies, local organizations and other responders to determine how International Medical Corps can quickly support the Government of Bahamas in its efforts to carry out lifesaving health and medical interventions in response to Hurricane Dorian.

International Relief Teams 3575

Under the direction of the government, and in coordination with other local and international humanitarian organizations, the team will identify emergency health and medical needs and gaps, and develop infrastructure to support any emergency medical teams that we will send to the most affected and vulnerable communities upon the request of the Government of Bahamas. We need you to help us send 25 containers (40’ sea containers) of disaster relief supplies that include water, ready-to-eat meals, canned goods, tarps, blankets, household items, camping gear, and hygiene kits to the Bahamas over the next five weeks. With your help we can ensure the victims of Hurricane Dorian who lost everything will have the essentials they need to survive, and prevent any further loss of life.

MAP International 3581

International Medical Corps is ready to scale our support and further deploy mobile medical teams and our emergency response field hospital to address any needs that continue to be uncovered following the impact of Hurricane Dorian.

Medical Teams International 3582

Our partners on the ground are pre-positioned with Disaster Health Kits to help those impacted by the storm.

Mercy Corps 3505

Our team has reached the Bahamas and is rushing to help survivors and meet the needs of families and communities affected by this devastating storm. Reports are starting to come in about the scale of damage, and we are hearing that thousands of homes have been destroyed and entire communities may be under water. We will focus on the most vulnerable households and people in the greatest need of aid. Our experience tells us that those priority needs are likely to include emergency cash, as well as relief items like solar chargers that allow survivors to power lights and recharge mobile phones while power is out.

Project HOPE 3513

Project HOPE’s initial response team, including volunteer medical personnel, arrived this morning. We’ve activated our roster for medical volunteers for additional deployments and are working with partners to coordinate shipments of health and hygiene supplies. As the full impact becomes apparently in the coming days, Project HOPE is committed to providing health care and humanitarian assistance where it is needed more.

Rise Against Hunger 3587

Finalizing immediate plans to distribute 142,000+ Rise Against Hunger meals, 17,000 bars of soap and 400 hygiene kits to Grand Bahama and Abaco Island. Rise Against Hunger’s Emergency Response team has worked around the clock alongside our partners to determine a swift response plan.

Samaritan’s Purse 1563

Samaritan’s Purse is now operating our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport on Grand Bahama, treating patients for a variety of injuries, illnesses, and other medical issues. In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, we airlifted the mobile facility along with a large medical team at the request of the World Health Organization and the Bahamas government.

Save the Children 3534

Save the Children has staff positioned in the region to help children and families bracing for the treacherous storm

The Salvation Army World Service Office 3570

The Salvation Army has 30 mobile feeding units positioned across Florida with each mobile kitchen ready to serve 500-1,500 meals per day. Along with meals, cleanup kits and pastoral counseling would be provided to survivors and first responders. Majors Clarence and Karen Ingram, The Salvation Army officers in charge of operations in the Bahamas, are on duty in their Nassau offices firming up supplies and logistics for The Salvation Army’s response efforts.


UNICEF is closely monitoring the storm. As Dorian neared the Lesser Antilles earlier this week, UNICEF prepositioned emergency supplies to meet the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of impacted families and children in Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. Child protection specialists are ready to care for children who might become separated from their families in the hurricane and provide education and nutritional support as needed. Preparedness plans for the affected region include: UNICEF teams are working with the government and other UN agencies to ease the devastating impact on the tens of thousands of children and families whose homes and communities have been leveled. UNICEF water and sanitation experts along with emergency and child protection specialists are now on the ground in the Bahamas, assessing the needs and planning the response. According to the UN, an estimated 75,000 people urgently need food, water and shelter.

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) 3512

UMCOR has awarded a solidarity grant to Bahamas Methodist Habitat for immediate, emergency short-term funding to address basic human needs. The relief agency also expects to partner in the Bahamas with the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. At this stage, donations to UMCOR are the best way for church members to respond, Bickerton said. Placements for volunteer teams will come later, after conversations with partners and the building of an infrastructure for that work.

World Renew 3511

World Renew’s Disaster Response Services (DRS) is readying volunteers and equipment to respond to Dorian as it slowly moves towards the East Coast of the U.S. as a Category 2 hurricane

World Vision 3564

Truckloads of relief supplies are being shipped to partner organizations in Daytona Beach and Immokalee to be ready for distribution to hard-hit areas. During and after a crisis, we provide food, water, hygiene, and other basic relief items, including clean-up supplies and toys. Our goal is to support local churches in their outreach to families, not only in the short-run but also through the arduous process of rebuilding homes and lives.