Hurricane Dorian Response

September 11, 2019–The official death toll in the Bahamas is hovering around 50, but with 2,500 people reported missing, experts predict it may climb into the thousands as rural communities become accessible, rubble is sorted through and bodies are located. For survivors, conditions are extremely challenging with many reports from the ground indicating that most remaining on the islands are without access to basic supplies like food and water. As nearly all residents of Grand Bahama and Abaco have been displaced by the storm, Prime Minister Minnis of The Bahamas has stated that Dorian and its aftermath will create “generational devastation” for impacted families.

 
At OpUSA we know all too well the challenges that are ahead for the communities hardest hit by Dorian. People in The Bahamas need so much help right now, and will continue to need support for many years to come as they rebuild their lives and their livelihoods. We continue to assess opportunities to provide aid–shipments of in-kind materials, cash grants and long-term project support–as soon as possible. Your donations to Operation USA at this time support these efforts. Please give generously–survivors in The Bahamas need your support.

 

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September 6, 2019–The latest reports out of The Bahamas indicate extreme damage to many areas, with entire communities leveled. Some island communities were completely cut off by the storm, and many people are without power, communications, water, food or access to other vital resources. In the coming weeks, as conditions become known, experts predict damage will be worse than imagined and the death toll will be “staggering.”

 

Recovery in The Bahamas will be a long and challenging process. Support from the public and corporate partners is vital to the relief process. We hope you’ll give early and often to help all those impacted.

 

 

September 5, 2019–Hurricane Dorian today hit the Carolinas–bringing heavy rains, strong winds and, in some areas, spawning tornadoes and causing flooding, leading to widespread power outages. Though the eye of the storm has so far remained offshore, experts still warn of potential serious damage, and more than 350,000 people have been evacuated from communities in the area. Dorian is expected to continue tracking northward into the weekend, bringing storm conditions to much of the eastern seaboard.

 

At this time, Operation USA is focusing relief and recovery efforts on The Bahamas, where damage is catastrophic. As damage becomes known in the southeastern U.S., OpUSA will also assess opportunities to provide aid and will work with existing community-based partners on the ground to expedite the delivery of aid and to identify opportunities to make cash grants supporting long-term relief. Your donations at this time make this work possible.

 

 

September 4, 2019– Reports from the Bahamas are grim this week as damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian–a Category 5 storm when it made landfall–becomes known. First hand accounts from communities in the storm’s path, including Abaco and Grand Bahama, indicate catastrophic damage to homes, businesses, hospitals and schools as well as the landscape after heavy rains and winds near 185mph battered the islands for more than a day and a half as Dorian crept slowly over this past weekend. The current death toll in the Bahamas is 7, though the Prime Minister has labeled the storm “one of the greatest national crises in [the] country’s history.”

 

Operation USA is now assessing damage and working to identify opportunities to provide aid to the Bahamas. At our warehouse in Port of Los Angeles, we have stores of hospital equipment and medical supplies ready to be shipped to the islands to aid hospital and clinic recovery, pending funds to do so. Your donations at this time will make this work possible, and will also support the delivery of cash grants and the shipment of other relief supplies in the immediate response phase. Please give now at give.opusa.org.

 
Hurricane Dorian’s destruction is not yet complete, as the storm–now a Category 2–continues to move north off the United States’ eastern coastline this week. Experts predict Florida and the Carolinas will be hit hard by the storm surge as well as heavy rains and high winds. Parts of Virginia and Georgia may also be impacted. OpUSA has been working in the Carolinas since Hurricane Florence struck last year, and at this time will remain in contact with partners on the ground there so as to deploy aid quickly and efficiently if damage from the storm is as expected. Your donations are crucial to our ability to provide cash grants and deliver supplies to the area.

 

 

August 31, 2019–Hurricane Dorian today was upgraded to a Category 4 storm, with winds topping 150mph as it bears down on the Bahamas. Though experts now say it’s unlikely Dorian will hit Florida head on, the National Hurricane Service is urging all Floridians to heed warnings from area officials and be prepared for the worst. Even if Dorian remains offshore, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas will still experience “extremely dangerous” storm conditions including high winds, heavy rains and possible flooding into next week.

 

Disaster relief efforts will likely shift to focus on the Bahamas, where “catastrophic” conditions are now predicted. OpUSA will continue to monitor the situation, and will assess all opportunities to provide aid via the delivery of cash grants and in-kind material aid. Your donations are vital to this effort.

 

 

August 30, 2019– Though Hurricane Dorian spared major damage in Puerto Rico, the storm continues to slowly gain strength today as it moves toward Florida. Experts predict it may be a Category 4 or higher when it makes landfall on the U.S. mainland, bringing severe winds above 110mph and heavy rainfall.

 

Many residents in Florida are bracing for the worst, as some communities continue to grapple with challenges in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria late in 2017. Officials are urging Floridians to evacuate or stock up on food and supplies for at least a week as Dorian will likely hover over the state for several days. As of today, supplies are low at many area stores and many gas stations have run out of fuel.

 
We have worked with partners on the ground in Florida for many years–increasingly so in the time since Irma and Maria devastated the area–by providing cash grants aimed at bolstering food security, improving conditions for children, families and the elderly, and strengthening community infrastructure. Learn more about that work (and how your donations have helped!) here.

 

Operation USA will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian as it develops and will deploy aid as soon as opportunities become known.

 

 

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August 28, 2019–Tropical Storm Dorian strengthened to a hurricane this afternoon as it bears down on the Caribbean. Experts predict it may be a Category 3 storm when it hits the United States’ southeastern coast in the coming days.

 

The storm is currently battering the US and British Virgin Islands with strong winds and heavy rain, and is expected to cross the Bahamas and Puerto Rico before hitting Florida. Sustained winds of 75 mph and severe rainfall may cause extensive damage and flash flooding, and residents of Puerto Rico–still recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma in late 2017–are bracing for the worst.

 

Operation USA responded to the 2017 storms and has continued to work with partners on the ground in Puerto Rico (and Florida) through recovery. We are monitoring Hurricane Dorian and are prepared to deploy aid if and when opportunities allow. All donations at this time will assist these efforts. OpUSA is also seeking bulk donations of disaster appropriate supplies from corporate partners and/or businesses. Contact info@opusa.org for more info.

 

 

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