Hurricane Dorian entered the Caribbean as a tropical storm and rapidly intensified. Rather than enter the Gulf of Mexico, Dorian passed east of Puerto Rico and headed north toward the Bahamas, where it slammed into the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island at a Cat 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, the strongest storm to ever hit the Bahamas.
The destruction is catastrophic. The death toll is rising, and thousands are missing.
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Project Hope is a Virginia-based relief organization renowned for its global health and humanitarian relief work and was able to get their first team on the ground in the Bahamas on Wednesday September 4th and get a firsthand look at the destruction left by Hurricane Dorian. The initial five-member team includes a doctor and nurse practitioner, but the organization has another 32 doctors, nurses and pharmacists on standby to deploy as needed. Tom Cotter, Project HOPE's Director of Emergency Response, who is leading the team shared heartbreaking images through the nonprofit's Twitter account on September 6th.
"I've never seen the level of trauma following a disaster that I'm seeing here. Everywhere we go, people are crying."
Chef José Andre's WCK arrived in Nassau ahead of the storm to preposition themselve for a massive relief effort. WCK was one of the first organizations on the ground in Abaco and is the only one providing fresh meals. With communications down and airports still closed, the island was nearly impossible to reach. But on Tuesday, September 4th after Dorian finally passed the islands, the Chef Relief team led by José was first able to make it to Abaco.
They began bringing meals from their kitchen 80 miles away in Nassau to Abaco and surrounding islands in several helicopter trips each day. Across the Northern Bahamas, Chef Adre's team is delivering close to 10,000 meals per day to the makeshift shelters in the government center and schools, a hospital, clinics, churches and more, and they aims to hit 30,000 per day as they scale up the operation.
Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Team Rubicon's recon teams are leaning-in and launching a large-scale response operation, using a two-pronged approach; pulling both from their mobile medical as well as their traditional core capabilities.
In addition to their WHO verified medical teams, there is a team of eight that will provide sawyer services to remove debris, a crucial part of helping survivors get access to the aid they need following natural disasters. Team Rubicon plans to deploy additional teams of volunteers to provide expedient home repairs, flooded home muck-outs, roof tarping, and heavy equipment operations as their teams gain more access to the islands and can get additional equipment there.
The Grand Bahama Humane Society was devastated by Hurricane Dorian and is in desperate need of donations to replace all equipment, vehicles, generators, etc. Currently the Humane Society is without electricity, refrigeration, water, and pet food.
The Kohn Foundation is the official US charitable foundation supporting the Humane Society of Grand Bahama to help them rebuild and care for the 74 dogs and 77 cats that have survived the devastation of hurricane Dorian.