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How to help the Bahamas: 7 things you can do for Hurricane Dorian victims right now

How to help the Bahamas: 7 things you can do for Hurricane Dorian victims right now
[Photo: courtesy of ISS/NASA]

If you’ve ever wondered how to make a bad situation worse, Hurricane Dorian nailed it this weekend. The devastating Category 5 hurricane not only bombarded the Bahamas with catastrophic 185-mph winds (and gusts of up to 220 mph), making history as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, but it also managed to do so at a devastatingly slow pace, creeping at just 1 mph, basically staying in place to do the most damage.

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Currently, the storm has been downgraded to a Category 3, but is still battering the Bahamas, which suffered devastating damage over the Labor Day weekend. At least five people have been killed in the Bahamas so far, according to the country’s prime minister, and many more are believed to be trapped in rubble left in the storm’s wake that destroyed or severely damaged as many as 13,000 homes. The United States Coast Guard is reportedly conducting rescue operations on the islands it can access.

As Hurricane Dorian lingers on its way toward the U.S., the storm has wind speeds of up to 120 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. As of Tuesday morning, it is about 110 miles from West Palm Beach, Florida.

As we wait to see when—or if—Dorian will come to the United States, it’s clear that the Bahamas needs assistance as it works to rebuild. Here are a few ways to help right now:

  • Donate to the Miami-Dade Community Emergency Operations Center (CEOC): A coalition of Florida community groups, including New Florida Majority, Miami Climate Alliance, and the Smile Trust, have teamed up for Bahamas relief. The group is asking for donations for immediate disaster relief, including toiletries, diapers, canned goods, cleaning supplies, tents, water, and power generators. Volunteers are also needed.

  • Help the World Central Kitchen disaster-relief team feed Bahamians: Chef and philanthropist José Andrés and his team are on the ground at four locations across the Bahamas to feed those reeling from the impact of Hurricane Dorian. His tweets are a real-time accounting of the storm and those working to feed everyone in need. Donations are accepted online.

  • Give to the Bahamas Red Cross: The Bahamas branch of the International Red Cross is requesting help with its Dorian relief program. Specifically, it’s looking for donations of nonperishable goods, water, toiletries, baby products, radios, batteries, candles, bedding, generators, building supplies, and, of course, cash. Make a donation here or volunteer your time here.
  • Donate to the International Medical Corps: The global humanitarian nonprofit is sending medical teams to the Bahamas to provide medical care to Bahamians in need. Donations can be made here.
  • Help fund Team Rubicon Disaster Response’s work: This international disaster relief nonprofit organization is made up of military veterans and first responders who do everything from rebuilding houses to clearing debris and helping organize large groups of volunteers. They were in the Bahamas early to help put up sandbags and board up windows and are now helping clean up and rebuild. Donate here.
  • Support the City of Miami’s donation drive: Miami’s local government launched BahamaStrong, a city webpage that coordinates the collection of goods needed in the Bahamas recovery effort. Check out the list here.

  • Donate to the work of All Hands and Hearts Smart Response: This volunteer-led team provides natural disaster relief and they are “closely monitoring” Hurricane Dorian and the Bahamas. Once on the ground in the Bahamas, they plan to address the immediate needs of those affected by Hurricane Dorian and then stick around to tackle the long-term needs of the communities impacted, helping rebuild safe, resilient schools, homes, and infrastructure. Donate here.

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