185 mph winds, over 13,000 families left without shelter, 1,300 Bahama community members missing — Dorian claimed the northern islands as a category 5 hurricane and as the 5th longest-lasting hurricane to hit the Atlantic. The Bahamas is in an emergency recovery period. VALLEY is here to explain what you can do to help.
Dorian entered the Caribbean on Tuesday, Aug. 27, first as a tropical storm. As the low pressure storm gained velocity and more force, it soon became to be labeled as a hurricane on Aug. 28. All islands were in preparation for the storm, but none would be as directly hit as the Bahamas. Dorian’s high categorical status and low speed made flooding and devastation even worse.
After reviewing all of the calculated damages, the experts have agreed on one thing: tourism. The Bahamas’ main source of profit comes from the attraction of their five-star resorts, white-sand and crystal-clear beaches.
I’ve been telling people who are wondering what they can do to help the Bahamas,” says Lawrence Cartwright, the Bahamas’ consulate general in New York. “I’ve said, ‘the best thing you can do is go to the Bahamas.’
60% of the country’s revenue comes from tourism — it is the most direct way for the country to rebuild. Popular resorts, like Atlantis and Paradise Island, experienced no damages from the storm. They remain open for business, urging global consumers to not take the Bahamas off of their upcoming vacation list.
An ongoing misconception of this storm is that the entire country experienced physical devastation. The remarkable landscape of the Bahamas is that it is composed of many islands, some untouched. Tourism also opens up more jobs for displaced workers. Cruise lines like Carnival have started port projects that will give 1,000 jobless citizens work. It is estimated that the damages suffered from Dorian will cost $15-25 billion and will take around 5 years to rebuild.
Taking a trip to the Bahamas is not feasible for everyone. Luckily, reputable organizations and passionate advocates have set up ways to donate. The Bahamian government urges people to give to these well-established charities: the Salvation Army, Americares, Project Hope, Mercy Corps and the National Association of the Bahamas. The Bahamian consulate on Manhattan’s East 46th Street is also taking supply donations on the weekdays, according to CBS New York. These organizations all have online means to donate. Any amount helps.
The Bahamas is in a period of rebuilding and recovery. In the meantime, they invite people to come, remember the island they loved and take part in the healing process.