As stated in my previous blog, my team and I have started the BVI Relief Fund to provide immediate on-the-ground aid to the British Virgin Islands in the wake of the Category 5 hurricane. When we implemented this relief effort, we didn’t anticipate that the BVI would be caught in the path of a second hurricane. Although smaller than the first, Hurricane Maria left behind more destruction to the already ravaged region. It has been extremely saddening to witness and has further highlighted the importance of providing any and all relief possible to those in need.
To learn more about the BVI Relief Fund, visit my previous blog here.
Although large-scale government intervention will continue to bring a more organized and comprehensive way to help rebuild the BVI, we are coordinating the delivery of supplies such as food and water to the many inhabited islands in need of these basic necessities right now.
Throughout this process so far, I’ve learned that disaster relief is an unbelievably complex operation with several variables to consider. The delivery of supplies alone has proven to have its own set of challenges, and this is only one of many working parts in a disaster relief effort. You must consider where you can deliver the supplies so that they are accessible to all in need, while also ensuring they are distributed evenly. Beyond this, the unfortunate truth of disaster situations is that they bring with them dire and desperate circumstances, so it’s important to prepare for the possible misuse or wasting of funds as well.
Disaster relief efforts also require quick adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances. After Hurricane Irma, instead of focusing solely on the proper way to deliver supplies to ensure they were accessible to everybody in need, we had to shift our efforts to do whatever we could to prepare for another potential hit by a second hurricane.
So far, communication and teamwork have been particularly important in allowing us to overcome these challenges and successfully provide aid. We have been listening to the needs of BVI residents and coordinating our efforts with other relief groups working toward the same goal. As the BVI has 12 inhabited islands only accessible by boat, we’ve come together to share boats and other resources to reach those unable to access the current central supply hub in Road Town. In unsteady times like these with no strict protocol in place, all we can do is try our very best to help others however we can.
As devastating as Hurricane Irma has been, one thing I can say is that seeing the way people have come together to help one another is truly a beautiful thing and has further fuelled my efforts to ensure our relief fund is a success.
If you’d like to donate to the cause, click here. All donations are 100% tax deductible in Canada and the US.