Hurricane Relief

The Long Road to Recovery After Hurricane Dorian

An update on the devastation and how you can support relief efforts

Photo: Courtesy of Water Mission

Water Mission works to bring safe drinking water to the Bahamas.

It has been more than a week since Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, but the extent of the devastation is still unfolding. The powerful storm claimed at least fifty lives in the Bahamas, and thousands more remain missing. While first responders continue to comb the rubble, Nassau is struggling to care for thousands of refugees from hard-hit islands who continue to stream into the capital. 

In North Carolina, people are beginning to return to decimated homes on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, which received the brunt of Dorian’s U.S. rampage. The storm also spawned several tornadoes in the state that destroyed RV parks, mangled homes, and tossed cars. Officials warned returning residents that their homes may not be inhabitable and resources are limited. 

While the residents of the Bahamas and North Carolina’s Outer Banks face an uncertain future, many people have stepped up to help. Here’s a list of ongoing relief efforts and how to support them.

Each year in February, Songwriters in Paradise brings some of the most celebrated musicians to the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands for a massive music festival. On Monday, September 16, Patrick Davis, the festival’s founder, is hosting SIP Hope Town, a benefit concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The concert will feature Darius Rucker, Randy Houser, Dierks Bentley, and more. Tickets are on sale now, and the funds will be used to support relief efforts in the Bahamas, particularly those on outer islands. 

Chef José Andrés and his D.C.-based nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, served their 100,000th meal in the Bahamas on Monday. The team has been on the ground since August 30, preparing and serving meals to those affected by the hurricane, and plan to stay as long as needed. “It’s not just about delivering the food to eat—it’s the message: We are all here for you during this difficult time,” World Central Kitchen wrote in a Tweet. Visit the World Central Kitchen website to make a donation.

Photo: Courtesy of World Central Kitchen

José Andrés serving meals in the Bahamas.

To support recovery in North Carolina, Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills is hosting a fundraiser on Sunday, September 15, for disaster relief on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. You can also donate directly to the Outer Banks Community Foundation, which will assist individuals and families in need. 

Photo: Courtesy of Water Mission

Water Mission team members assemble a reverse osmosis system.

Water Mission, a nonprofit based in North Charleston, South Carolina, that provides emergency water solutions in the aftermath of natural disasters, is in the Bahamas working to get more safe water flowing. The team brought in a reverse osmosis unit to purify water, generators, water treatment packets, and other supplies. Donations made on the website are now being matched, up to $1 million. 

A red Jeep went viral last week when it was seen abandoned in the surf as the storm approached Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. People took to social media to try to figure out how the vehicle ended up on the beach, before its owners came forward and explained what happened. The owners have now started a GoFundMe page to benefit UNICEF’s hurricane recovery in the Bahamas. “We may have lost a vehicle, but that is small in comparison to what others have lost during the storm,” they wrote. 

Abaco Lodge was one of the premier bonefishing lodges in the world until the hurricane reduced it to rubble. Owner and Chapel Hill native Oliver White has set up a GoFundMe page to help his staff and the community recover. A portion of the donations will go directly to his staff and their families, and the rest will be used for the Bahamas at large. 

The National Association of the Bahamas in partnership with the Bahamas Consulate General in Miami has updated its list of supplies that are urgently needed, including debris removal tools, cleaning supplies, and water containers. You can find the full list here as well as drop-off locations. 

Direct Relief delivered more than 14,000 pounds of medical supplies to Nassau on Monday in response to survivors’ needs. The shipment included insulin, antibiotics, IV fluids, wound care items, and more. You can make a monetary donation here.