Caribbean Hurricane Relief Needed Months After Irma and Maria

Helping Hand USA has had a stable presence in the Caribbean islands since the devastating earthquake that rocked the country of Haiti in 2010 which killed over 230,000, injured over 300,000 and displaced 1.5 million people. HHRD’s Emergency Relief Program organized 59 Rotational Clinics treating over 20,000 people. HHRD has ongoing Food Distributions, Seasonal, Healthcare, Orphan Support, Water for Life, Skills Development and Shelter Village programs. The Youth for Haiti program has allowed countless college students the opportunity to witness first-hand the humanitarian efforts of HHRD in the region. It continues to provide long term rehabilitation relief for this disaster-prone country.

More recently, hurricanes Irma and Maria ravished the islands of St. Martin, Dominica, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and Barbados. HHRD immediately launched its “Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund” as team members prepared for the journey to these islands for needs assessments. Hurricane Irma, a category 4 storm, bought 130 mph winds that wiped out 95% of the infrastructure of the Island of Barbuda while collectively causing 61 deaths and up to $200 million in damages. Hurricane Maria follow suit causing HHRD Emergency Response Team (ERT) members to relocate to Curacao as the category 4 hurricane zeroed in on the Caribbean islands.

Making it a point to not waste any time in preparation, HHRD’s ERT met with Vice Chairman of Parliament Gissell M. McWilliam and Economic Affairs Minister Mr. Koyman in Curacao to explain the nature of HHRD work and relief efforts for the region. Hurricane Maria was no match for the already battered Caribbean island belt as 155 mph winds swept north towards Puerto Rico. With an estimated $95 billion in damages the death toll ranges from 50 to 500 as 70% of the island lost power and communication with mainland USA.

After initial needs assessments and immediate relief distribution HHRD sent another ERT which focused its efforts in the islands of St. Martin, Dominica and Barbados. Loading boats with supplies and traveling between islands HHRD’s team could provide nonperishable foods, water and other essentials to people who lost everything.

HHRD’s In Kind Gifts program was able to bring a 40-foot container of supplies, food, water and more to St. Martin for distribution after having been packed by HHRD’s Florida team and its volunteers. The road to recovery is long however, HHRD is committed to providing long term rehabilitation in the Caribbean. The locals of these islands rely on relief organizations to step up and bring forth aid they desperately need.

Current Situation:

Measured as a category 5 hurricane, Maria hit the island of Dominica with full force leaving 15 dead and immense infrastructure damage. Many of the islands in the Caribbean were recovering from Hurricane Irma when Hurricane Maria followed suit. Puerto Rico was the strongest hit as million struggle without food, water, and power.

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(PHOTO: Regional Security System Dominica)

HHRD Work in The Region:

HHRD has been providing relief in the Caribbean since the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 killing over 230,000, injuring over 300,000 and displacing 1.5 million people. HHRD’s Emergency Relief Program organized 59 Rotational Clinics treating over 20,000 people. HHRD has ongoing Food Distributions, Seasonal, Healthcare, Orphan Support, Water for Life, Skills Development and Shelter Village programs. The Youth for Haiti program has allowed countless college students the opportunity to witness first-hand the humanitarian efforts of HHRD.

Donate Now