After winding along their destructive routes through the Caribbean, a series of devastating Category 5 hurricanes finally has relented. In their aftermath, flooding and destructive storm surges have laid waste to virtually every island.
While President Trump’s visit today to Puerto Rico is garnering virtually all the news media attention in the region because U.S. aid efforts are concentrated on PR and the American Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John), relief efforts quietly but effectively continue throughout the Caribbean.
According to ShelterBox officials, for example, hundreds of sets of tents and ShelterKits have been distributed from an operations base on Antigua to the islands of St. Kitts, St. Barts, Barbuda, Dominica, St. Martin, the Dominican Republic, the British Virgin Islands, and elsewhere.
“We have a variety of aid in the Caribbean, so we can tailor our response to best support different communities,” ShelterBox says. “On some islands, there will be the natural resources available to quickly rebuild homes with the help of a ShelterKit. Elsewhere, our tents will be the best option, creating a warm, safe home while the long clean-up process takes place.
“But, it’s not just the Caribbean that has been affected by extreme weather. Torrential flooding in places like Bangladesh, and quakes, high winds and other natural disasters in various parts of Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, have left communities in urgent need of aid.
“Our teams are on the ground in both countries now, but the need is overwhelming. We’re impatient to respond wherever we’re needed in the world, but we need your help.”
Any members of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club who are interested in donating to ShelterBox’s general fund to support its disaster relief work is asked to contact Bill Dowd, the club’s ShelterBox Liaison Officer, for details on how to do so.