Here’s How You Can Help the People Affected by Hurricane Dorian

PHOTO: Erik Villa Rodriguez/USCG via AC NewsPhoto/Alamy

The damage inflicted by the recent storm was catastrophic.

Category-five Hurricane Dorian caused major damage as it passed through the Southeastern U.S., Atlantic Canada, and Caribbean nations in recent weeks. But the resulting damage has been particularly severe in the Bahamas. Initially developing as a tropical wave on August 24, the storm was declared a hurricane on August 28 when it moved toward the Lesser Antilles (a collection of islands in the Caribbean Sea). Ultimately, Dorian hit the Bahamas the hardest taking at least 45 lives and leaving 70,000 people homeless on Abaco Islands (in the northern Bahamas) and Grand Bahama. The death toll will likely rise as hundreds are still missing.

Additionally, relief efforts have proven to be difficult, especially in areas like Treasure Cay, where the storm destroyed the region’s power grid, halting cell phone service for all but a few people located in a building in Marsh Harbour. However, 90% of the infrastructure in Marsh Harbour, which is located off the Great Abaco Highway, was damaged or destroyed. “We’ve had to funnel gasoline out of destroyed cars to get injured people back and forth,” town resident Tepeto Davis told the BBC News. “We’re suffering out here and no-one cares about us.”

How to Help

While food and water started shipping (onto Abaco Island) this weekend via private pilots and charter companies (who also carried out Dorian survivors), the Bahamas is nowhere near in the clear. If you have the time and resources, the Bahamian islands could use your help. If you have plans to travel there, don’t cancel them immediately. Check to see if the area you’re headed to is stable and capable of hosting tourists—the destination needs the money to continue its recovery. While hotels in the above-mentioned Abaco and Grand Bahama are closed for the foreseeable future, that equates to less than 15% of the country’s hotel business. Areas that were less affected include the country’s southeastern and central sectors, Nassau, and Paradise Island. Donating to relief funds is also crucial for recovery efforts. Forbes has compiled a list of such groups, which includes The American Red CrossProject Hope, and Americares. Separately, online publication TravelPulse revealed last week that it set up a GoFundMe account “to raise funds that will be sent directly to locals via the official tourism board of the Bahamas, the Islands of the Bahamas,” according to its website. So far, they’ve raised $16,820 of a $20,000 goal.

If you have plans to travel there, don’t cancel them immediately.

Keep an Eye Out

More tropical waves are popping up over the Atlantic and could make their way over the Bahamas and Florida. Reports claim the next potentially dangerous storm, to be called Tropical Storm Humberto, has a chance of morphing into a tropical depression within the next five days, which means that it would develop a circular flow with winds below 39 mph. If that speed increases to between 39 and 73 mph, as it’s slated to, the formation would then be considered to be a tropical storm. Stay alert.