NPR – Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas with high winds and rain for more than two days, and officials in the Bahamas say at least seven people died in the storm, including children. That toll is feared to rise as recovery efforts get underway.
As images from the island chains show, the slow-moving hurricane brought strong winds, heavy rain and a life-threatening storm surge to the Bahamas, inundating homes and entire villages with water.
National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says Dorian is “still hovering right off the shore” of Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Graham says that by early Thursday morning Dorian will be “right off the Georgia [and] South Carolina coast.”
As the Bahamas tries to take stock of the damage and send aid, chef José Andrés is also present, having traveled to the islands to help feed storm victims and emergency workers.
“The destruction in Abaco and Grand Bahamas is huge,” Andrés told NPR’s Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis describes a scene of devastation on the Abaco Islands, saying the airport runway is completely flooded. “In fact, the area around the airport now looks like a lake,” Minnis said.
Of the magnitude of the damage, Minnis said, “It is going to require a massive coordinated effort to rebuild our communities.”
If you want to help ease some of this suffering around the world, here’s what you can do:
- Spread disaster awareness: Talk about disasters when they happen. Use social media to share news stories about the people who have been affected and ways to help.
- Donate: It may often only be a temporary solution, but it is an important one. Look for local organizations that will be doing work long into the recovery when national groups have left.
- Volunteer: Communities all over the country need help recovering. Just like when I went to New Orleans to help rebuild, you can go to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, or the Carolinas to help with recovery efforts.
- Vote: Pay attention to which candidates understand why disasters happen and how to prevent them.
- Direct action: For those of you who are a part of the climate movement, bring attention to disaster survivors and use your platform to amplify their stories.
- Study disasters: If you plan to go to college, consider a major or minor in emergency management. You’ll learn about the history of disasters, how to manage them, and what the future holds.