Hurricane Dorian & Shelterbox

Posted By Robert Ballantyne

This just in… Dear The Rotary Club of Bowen Island,

As Rotary International’s Project Partner in disaster relief I want to be sure you are informed of what ShelterBox Operations knows at this time about Hurricane Dorian. Category 5 Hurricane Dorian has caused major destruction across the Bahamas. The storm is still over the islands which means that full assessments have not been completed. There is currently limited data available from in-country sources and the Government of the Bahamas has not yet requested international assistance. The full extent of the damage will not be known until the storm has moved on and full assessments can be made.

There are many agencies and organizations who are well placed to help in the Bahamas, including the Government, the Caribbean’s Regional Disaster Management Agency (CDEMA) and the local Bahamas Red Cross who are all coordinating to support communities across the Bahamas. Because these organizations are based in country, they do not need to wait for the call for international assistance.

Hurricane Dorian 2019 Sep 3

Hurricane Dorian 2019 September 3

We are closely monitoring the situation in the Bahamas and we are ready to respond if we are needed. We have aid stocked in Panama and a team on standby if needed. Our Operations teams are working with Rotary International headquarters. Local Rotary sources have confirmed that damage to both communications and transport infrastructure will make detailed assessment difficult in the first few days and that future details will only emerge once Dorian has moved away from the area.

ShelterBox has responsible decision to deploy criteria to determine if and when your aid should be sent to families. Mainly, teams are working to understand if there is a gap in the support available to affected families, and if the Government will allow our aid in.

Currently ShelterBox is in the monitoring phase and over the coming days ShelterBox will continue to closely observe the situation in the Bahamas and remain in close contact with governments, and other partners. We will continue to work closely with local Rotarians and Rotary Clubs to gather localized information and support. It is important to ShelterBox that we take time in this phase to better understand the situation and the ground and ensure that families receive the type of support they need most. This means that your generous donations always have the greatest impact for families around the world.

While we do not have a restricted fund established for Hurricane Dorian, any gift to ShelterBox Canada will support essential shelter and tools for families recovering after disaster around the world.

You can find the latest information about our response on our website at and I will keep you updated with any further developments. If you have any questions please let me know.

Tess Widdifield
Rotary and Community Fundraising Manager
ShelterBox Canada
Member, The Rotary Club of Toronto Twilight

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