Just 2 short years after Hurricane Irma came barreling through the Caribbean, Dorian set its eye on the Bahamas this past Sunday.
For over two days, the locals and their pristine blue waters of the 120 miles of the Bahamas were pummeled by the category 5 monster, Hurricane Dorian.
This hurricane was not the most powerful in the last decade or even in the last century – it is THE most powerful Atlantic hurricane ON RECORD to make landfall.
Not only were the devastating winds whipping through the Bahamas at 185 mph with gusts up to 220 mph, Hurricane Dorian also crawled along the islands at only 1 mph. We walk faster than that – that’s how S...L...O...W... Dorian was moving across the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. And the longer it takes a hurricane to creep across land, the more damage it causes.
Everyone living there has been affected by this hurricane and some even losing loved ones. At least seven people have died during the hurricane, and sadly, we know that this toll will rise as search and rescue efforts begin.
Helping the Bahamas from a Distance
Max and I flew out of the Miami airport the day Hurricane Dorian decided to finally meander north, relieving the Bahamas of his wrath. The airport was completely empty as most flights had been canceled and a number of people had already evacuated.
It was a somber atmosphere for us, knowing how close we were to the devastation and couldn’t help. This hit home, especially for Max, as our plane took off to Aruba, catching the tail end of Dorian through the window. He had personally just went through this kind of destruction with the category 5 Hurricane Irma only 2 years ago. Watching the news helplessly from across the Atlantic in 2017, Max decided to quit his job there and desperately tried to reach his family and friends back in St. Maarten, arriving to complete chaos and wreckage.
On the plane Tuesday, all we wanted to do was get back to our boat, sail to the Bahamas with tarps, and give our assistance. Unfortunately, our boat is still out of the water, and we are unable to physically help. So I did the research and wrote this article to support and help those already there.
We’ve personally witnessed St. Maarten/St. Martin come back from the devastations of Hurricane Irma. So there is NO doubt in our minds that there is hope for the Bahamas – and we are that hope!
Collectively, we can contribute to getting these islands back on their feet again. We’ve compiled 9 reputable ways that we can all help our friends in the Bahamas. You may not think a few dollars here and there makes much of a difference, but I assure you – it does!
Also, it can be hard to know who to trust after a natural disaster like this. Who can we really trust to donate to? This is why we’ve compiled 9 reputable ways that we can all help our friends in the Bahamas – remember, every dollar does help.
9 Reputable Ways to Help Our Friends Recover in the Bahamas:
YachAid Global has set up Operation “Topaz” for the Bahamian community affected by Hurricane Dorian. They provide aid, conservation, and disaster relief to coastal communities.
If any boats are in the area you can sign up with them to transport,.. or donate and help bring emergency supplies like first-aid kits, tarps, food, and medicine to those in the Bahamas. Check out this amazing foundation in the boating industry at http://yachtaidglobal.org/!! <3
Miami-Dade Community Emergency Operations Center (CEOC)
The CEOC is a group of community outreach organizations in Florida that have banned together for Bahamian relief efforts.
The government of the Bahamas is requesting donations which include:
Hygiene kits (sanitary napkins, deodorant, toothpaste, soap, baby formula)
Non-perishable food items
First aid kits
Portable outdoor lights/lamps
You can donate, volunteer, or drop-off any supplies to their locations. Check out their website, https://www8.miamidade.gov/global/initiatives/cares/home.page, for more information on how to help them in assisting the Bahamas.
The Smile Trust
The Smile Trust located in Florida, formally known as “Make the Homeless Smile,” has been expanding its efforts globally since 2014. The Smile Trust is working for the relief effort in the Bahamas by providing food, clothing, toiletries and more.
Donate on their website, https://mthsmile.com/donate/, to support them in helping the Bahamas.
The Samaritan’s Purse works on an international scale to help victims of natural disasters, war, poverty, and disease. Samaritan’s Purse was one of the first disaster relief on the ground after Hurricane Irma in St. Maarten. They are somewhat of a beacon to the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin.
Samaritan’s Purse has already airlifted 30 tons of emergency items and more than a dozen disaster relief specialists to the island. They are working tirelessly to help the victims of the Bahamas. To donate, visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/hurricane-dorian-relief/.
HeadKnowles Emergency Fund
The dynamic duo, Lia Head and Gina Knowles, started their GoFundMe for people wanting to give back to Hurricane Joaquin victims in 2015. Their Facebook page quickly gained momentum and is now helping those devastated in any hurricane. Hurricane Dorian is now on the top of their list, and they have teams on the ground in the Bahamas to provide both short-term relief and sustainable relief on the islands.
Help HeadKnowles get their 30 volunteer planes and over 1,000 boaters to the Bahamas. Visit their GoFundMe page and check out their inspiring story at https://www.gofundme.com/f/headknowles-emergency-funds
World Central Kitchen’s (WCK) Chef Relief Team
Chef José Andrés was stationed in Nassau, Bahamas before Hurricane Dorian hit, prepping his team to disperse to the Abacos and Grand Bahama after it passed.
WCK has over 16 cooking stations set up for those in need of food. The islands’ electricity is down and food will be dwindling soon, help WCK provide hot meals for those in need by donating at https://donate.wck.org/give/236738/#!/donation/checkout.
All Hands and Hearts Smart Response
All Hands and Hearts is a volunteer-powered relief foundation, which focuses on natural disaster relief. These volunteers help local communities recovering from hurricanes by rebuilding schools, homes, and infrastructures that are central to getting communities back on their feet.
Donate or sign up to volunteer – the more hands the better – and help this foundation with their hurricane relief efforts at https://give.allhandsandhearts.org/give/247533/#!/donation/checkout.
Local Support from St. Maarten/St. Martin
Our home-island, SXM, is working diligently to extend their help to Abacos and Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. We know and understand the dire need after a hurricane this devastating.
Dreadnoughtus Conservation Society is partnering with Sea Shepherd USA to deliver food, water, first aid kits, and medicine. Email them at email@example.com or call +590 690 83-1992 for drop off locations.
Freegan Food Foundation was already hosting a beach party at Karakter for SXM’s 2nd annual post Irma FUNdraiser on September 6. They are now expanding their fundraiser to support the Bahamas as well!
K1 Britannia Foundation is a local organization from St. Maarten, which helps an array of needs such as disaster relief, foster care, youth in need, and volunteering. They are still organizing a way to help since the Bahamas is only opened to international aid for now – but stay tuned to their website.
Although this way of helping the Bahamas is later down the road, tourism is incredibly vital in helping an island nation like the Bahamas get back on their feet. Over 6 million people visited the Bahamas last year, so to say their economy thrives on vacationers visiting and contributing to their communities – is an understatement.
Your favorite beach bars and restaurants will probably be some of the first ones to rebuild, taking on tourism to fund the rebuilding of their own homes.
This is how our island, St. Maarten/St. Martin, bounced back after the hurricane 2 years ago. At Ready. Set. Sail., we don’t normally charter in the Bahamas as it is a pretty far sail from our main port in St. Maarten/St. Martin.
But, to give back and help funnel tourism back to these islands (once they are up and running), we are offering sailing charters in the Bahamas starting October 2020.
We will donate 25% of our charter proceeds to disaster relief foundations in the Bahamas.
Ready. Set. Sail.’s Bahama charters won’t include our normal all-inclusive charters since we are aiming to support the local bars and restaurants after Hurricane Dorian. Contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +590 690 195286 (WhatsApp).
Help the Bahamas get their vibrant flair back by donating, volunteering, or visiting as they recover from this natural disaster.
<3 We are praying and sending donations your way Bahamas <3,
Haily and Max
A personal note for those devastated by Hurricane Dorian:
Losing your home and stability after a natural disaster is traumatizing, no matter how tough someone is. You might not think so right now but after the adrenaline wears off the reality can be overwhelming. This is completely normal and addressing it soon is valuable. Mental health is so important and the Disaster Distress Helpline knows this. If you need someone to talk to, their trained crisis counselors are there for you 24/7, 365 days out of the year. You can call them at 1-800-985-5990. <3