Response Updates

Convoy of Hope Responds to Hurricane Dorian

The Bahamas Reported by Convoy of Hope
Hurricane Dorian

May 4, 2020 | 8:15 a.m.

Due to a government proclamation of emergency, a 24-hour curfew has been put in place. However, with government approval, distributions continue as planned with our Bahamian team. With your help, here is what we’ve been able to accomplish so far in the Bahamas.

  • 79 containers shipped
  • 2,842,010 pounds of product distributed
  • 13,770 families served
  • 46,818 individuals served
  • 107 churches, partners, and organizations resourced
  • 17 communities served

GRAND BAHAMA, BAHAMAS — The government is allowing our team to distribute furniture, mattresses, and food during the week. Volunteers from the Platinum Knights Junkanoo Group helped prepare 5,000 bags of food at our warehouse for distribution.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A container will arrive to the island on May 6. This container will supply two major partners and their distribution operations. They are serving people affected by Hurricane Dorian, as well as those struggling due to the effects of COVID-19.

ABACO, BAHAMAS — One container of water and one with mixed food will be sent soon, and distributions will begin mid-May.

April 20, 2020 | 8:45 a.m.

Due to a government proclamation of emergency, a 24-hour curfew has been put in place. However, with government approval, distributions continue as planned with our Bahamian team.

GRAND BAHAMA, BAHAMAS — Our team in Freeport has distributed masks to local police and first responders. Even in the midst of the lockdown, the team distributed furniture to families who had lost everything in Dorian and have otherwise been forced to sit on their floor. The team also unloaded a container with 110 mattresses inside. Our team is preparing for distributions scheduled for the coming week.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A container was sent to Nassau and is due to arrive soon. This container is meant to supply two major partners on the island and their distribution operations. They are serving people affected by Hurricane Dorian, as well as those who are struggling due to the effects of COVID-19. Both partners have gained “essential personnel” status, so they can continue distributions during the country lockdown.

ABACO, BAHAMAS — Our partners have received two containers: one mixed load of food and supplies and another of water. Distribution began right away with the help of local law enforcement. The population is experiencing an extreme need for food due to the effects of COVID-19.

March 30, 2020 | 8 a.m.

Just like everywhere else in the world, COVID-19 has complicated everyday life for those in the Bahamas. Due to a government proclamation of emergency, a 24-hour curfew has been put in place, restricting nonessential business. Fortunately, our Bahamian team continues to distribute goods following an exemption. As of now, our warehouse team in Freeport is assessing present needs and preparing for distributions scheduled for this week. Our U.S. team members have returned home, and any new projects have been tabled for 30 days.

GRAND BAHAMA, BAHAMAS — Since the week of March 9, 10 churches have received an allocation of products amounting to nearly 1,500 bags of food, as well as water, Gatorade, 18 Ashley Furniture sets, and generators. The team received two containers with water and mixed food that were unloaded on Friday.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Another container is being shipped to Nassau that is filled with supplies for two church partners. It is scheduled to load Tuesday, March 31.

ABACO, BAHAMAS — Our partners have received a container of generators. Along with the local government, they will assess the possibility of distribution for next week. Additionally, two other containers have been shipped to Abaco with building materials and supplies to be used in cooperation with Builders International. Two more containers — a mixed load of food and supplies, and a container of water — have been shipped to Abaco and are scheduled to arrive next week.

March 13, 2020 | 4 p.m.

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — More than 1,100 grocery bags of food were packed by a team in our warehouse. Seventy-six cases of water and 59 cases of sports drinks were distributed in Freeport. Ten cases of water were sent to Sweetings Cay. Forty tarps were distributed and two containers of furniture were unloaded and organized. In total, 159 pieces of furniture (mostly couches) are ready for distribution.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Two shelters are still in operation housing evacuees from Abaco. New Providence Community Church received two containers of food products and have already distributed the bulk of those items, as they are still serving 600+ people a week. Three pallets of water will be sent to Victory Chapel, another church partner in Nassau, this week to support their distribution operations. They are still serving roughly 100 evacuee families a week.

ABACO, BAHAMAS — Distribution of tents, cots, blankets, and cleaning supplies were held on March 7. Building materials for the reconstruction of Camp Abaco and two local churches have arrived and are being transported to the campground. Another container with brand new generators also arrived. These generators will be used for the rebuilding of churches and the returning of evacuees who are slowly coming back home.

Due to pandemic-related travel suspensions, U.S. team members have returned home. Distributions will continue as planned with our Bahamian team. Additional projects will be tabled for 30 days.

March 3, 2020 | 5 p.m.

Just over 6 months after Hurricane Dorian brought devastation to the Bahamas, Convoy of Hope is still active in communities across the islands.

  • 36 plane loads of supplies distributed
  • 65 containers shipped
  • 2,492,665 pounds of product distributed
  • 13,164 families served
  • 44,757 individuals served
  • 107 local businesses, churches, and organizations resourced
  • 17 communities served

Our work centers on three of the islands: Grand Bahama, New Providence, and Abaco islands.

On Grand Bahama, distributions continue through the local church network. As promised, 14 homes have been re-drywalled. Additionally, two more containers of furniture were received at the warehouse and distributions have started for families in need. On New Providence, two pallets of mixed food from the warehouse in Freeport were sent to Victory Chapel in Nassau for distribution. On Abaco Island, the team sent additional containers of tents, cots, blankets, snacks for kids, and water to families in need. More distributions will begin on March 7.

Convoy of Hope is committed to staying in the Bahamas. We’re fulfilling that commitment, and we are seeing the amazing change hope can bring in the midst of disaster.

November 14, 2019 | 4 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian is no longer in the news, but Convoy of Hope is still working in the affected communities, helping families put their lives back together.

  • 30,000 people served through food and emergency supplies
  • 35 plane loads of supplies distributed
  • 58 containers shipped
  • 10,000 square feet of warehouse established
  • 4 UTVS donated by Arctic Cat
  • 100 local businesses, churches, and organizations resourced
  • 16 communities served

We have implemented a one-year relief and recovery strategy for the Bahamas. That plan includes distribution of “immediate relief supplies,” which includes food, water, clean up tools, and materials. In addition, debris removal and “mud out” operations are in full swing on the east side of Grand Bahama Island, where communities were completely flattened. Thank you for your generosity and trust. With your help, we believe the Bahamas will come back stronger than ever.

October 7, 2019 | 8:40 a.m.

Convoy of Hope’s response to Hurricane Dorian continues to grow. Dozens of containers filled with food, water, tarps, camping supplies, and generators have been sent directly to community partners and more are waiting in ports to be delivered.

The majority of these containers are going to hard-hit areas where Convoy of Hope teams and volunteers assist in unloading, bagging, and distributing the products. In addition to our efforts on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, Convoy is providing relief to evacuees in shelters and homes in the capital of Nassau. Two containers are scheduled to arrive in Nassau, which will provide evacuees with basic food and hygiene supplies. 

Convoy of Hope is also providing continued support from our warehouse in Florida. By having a constant flow of accessible product in close proximity, Convoy is maximizing every load sent to the Bahamas. 

Life in these devastated communities is slowly being put back together, and Convoy of Hope is making long-term plans for the recovery process. Additional team members from Convoy’s International Program were on the ground this week, developing a plan for extended help.

To date, Convoy has provided more than $770,000 worth of relief supplies to more than 20,000 people affected by Hurricane Dorian. Those we serve send their heartfelt thanks to you.

September 25, 2019 | 9:20 a.m.

Convoy of Hope’s response to Hurricane Dorian is in full swing. Across the Bahamas, Convoy of Hope’s network of local partners continues to grow. We’re equipping each partner with the food, water, and relief supplies they need to best serve their communities.

To date, Convoy of Hope is working with 20 community hubs for distribution. We’ve already shipped pallets and whole containers of goods to the islands, and more are on the way. In many communities, stores and vital infrastructures were completely destroyed. Outside help remains the only meaningful way residents can find relief.

Convoy partners in Florida are also providing vital resources to many Bahamians who evacuated to the United States. Convoy’s response is poised to grow as the communities affected continue to recover. So far, the organization has distributed more than 400,000 pounds of disaster relief supplies, including solar lanterns and water filters, to more than 16,000 individuals.

September 19, 2019 | 6 p.m.

It’s been weeks since Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, but Convoy of Hope’s teams are still on the ground meeting needs. We’ve been able to serve thousands of people — but our work isn’t done yet. Teams are still distributing product and more is en route. Relief items will assist evacuees at shelters and in host homes.

Stateside, Convoy of Hope has secured a warehouse in Florida. Team members are working with volunteers to oversee operations. Distributions will soon take place to help people who have evacuated their homes in the Bahamas.

Convoy of Hope is committed to helping people for the long haul. Hal Donaldson says, “We want to respond to disasters and help people as fast as we can, as much as we can, for as long as we can.”

September 17, 2019 | 10:45 a.m.

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — Disaster Services team members created 10 mixed-product pallets and distributed them to churches in Freeport yesterday. These churches will now serve as distribution centers for their communities. Additionally, the team created family food kits and distributed them to families affected by flooding.

In Nassau, Convoy of Hope continues to interface with organizations and church partners in the area who are servicing shelters. An airplane with supplies for the shelters is scheduled to arrive today and a container of supplies is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

September 15, 2019 | 8:30 a.m.

Yesterday, the team worked to clear 18 pallets of product and delivered it to the warehouse in the Bahamas. The product will be delivered to distribution centers today. In Nassau, the ability to wash clothing has been expressed as a high need. Convoy of Hope has delivered laundry detergent and buckets to a shelter, allowing evacuees from Abaco to wash their clothing by hand.

September 14, 2019 | 9 a.m.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Loads of relief supplies continue arriving in the Bahamas. Convoy of Hope team members are now more permanently on the ground and will help facilitate logistics for incoming loads in addition to coordinating with partners on the ground to serve communities in need.Additional product should arrive in Nassau next week. This will be the first container into Nassau, and it will help Convoy of Hope serve more than 2,000 evacuees who are currently housed in shelters.

September 12, 2019 | 10 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictable, two-week-long assault in the Atlantic Ocean has left the Bahamas in ruins. Houses are now piles of timber. Low-lying areas are still flooded. Loved ones are still missing.

So far, Convoy of Hope has delivered 23 plane loads carrying clean water, tarps, ready-to-eat food items, crisis care kits, diapers, wipes, formula, and even two generators. Convoy has also distributed more than 90,000 meals, 150 LuminAID solar lanterns, and 500 water filters to date. More than 2,000 families and 7,500 individuals have been served.

We’ve assisted citizens of Freeport, Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbour, and Moore’s Island. In the United States, we’ve delivered five truckloads of resources to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The emergency manager of Ocracoke Island secured warehouse space to store the resources for distribution. Local officials and churches will coordinate distribution moving forward, as our team has departed North Carolina.

September 9, 2019 | 1 p.m.

ABACO ISLANDS, BAHAMAS Convoy of Hope Reporter Jess Heugel sent this update from the ground.

The situation in the Abaco Islands is dire. Under the relentless sun, sweat runs down the faces of survivors who are still on the ground. Many people have left, but some cannot afford to leave. Hundreds of people gather next to the runway at the barely-functioning airport. There is no shelter, and they’ve been there for days baking in the sun, hoping to take any open seat on any airplane.

Tension is in the air, wafting with the smell of those who have died and are yet to be found. Trees, cars, and entire buildings have been wrenched from the ground and scattered by the Hurricane Dorian, which hovered over the island for days. Destruction stretches out in all directions. But help is on the way.

On Saturday, Convoy of Hope landed several planes loaded to maximum capacity with food, water, tarps, medicine, and other relief supplies. Immediately, our planes are surrounded by volunteers who want to help unload. These are local volunteers, too; people who no longer have homes and are dealing with unimaginable loss. But they have decided to use what strength they have left to help.

Convoy of Hope team members and volunteers connected with a truck that still had fuel and could transport supplies to a community center a few miles away. Survivors constantly come and go from this hub. Some need food, others need water. One man with a bloody bandage wrapped around his foot shoulders a case of water and slowly begins his way back home.

International assistance continues to arrive, but the people of the Bahamas fear they’ll soon be forgotten by the world. Convoy of Hope and our partners are planning a long-term response to keep that from happening. For the months to come, we will continue loading relief supplies onto boats and airplanes. Thank you for standing with us and the people of the Bahamas in this catastrophic time.

September 8, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — Convoy of Hope delivered eight more plane loads of relief supplies to Freeport and Treasure Cay yesterday. We also delivered product by boat to Moore’s Island. This is significant because relief supplies had not been distributed there yet. Further evacuations are being planned for Abaco while its infrastructure is being rebuilt. Our teams are exploring ways to assist the thousands of people that will now be sheltered in Nassau. As needs in the Bahamas shift almost daily, Convoy of Hope will continue resourcing those living there.

September 7, 2019 | 10:45 a.m.

FREE PORT, BAHAMAS — Convoy of Hope delivered seven plane loads of relief supplies to Freeport and Treasure Cay yesterday afternoon. In total, the planes carried approximately 3,000 pounds of clean water, tarps, ready-to-eat food items, crisis care kits, diapers, wipes, formula, and two generators.

Approximately 1,500 meals were provided to evacuees from Abaco that are now being housed in temporary shelters in Nassau. Eight planes are scheduled to depart for Treasure Cay and Freeport today, carrying the same urgent relief supplies. Water filtration units and temporary shelters, along with the delivery of food, hygiene items, and other immediate needs, will continue being delivered regularly.

Convoy of Hope Disaster Services team members load a plane full of relief supplies. These much-needed items will be distributed to Bahamians in need on islands cut off by Hurricane Dorian. (Photo/Jess Heugel)

September 7, 2019 | 8:45 a.m.

FREEPORT, BAHAMAS Convoy of Hope Reporter Jess Heugel sent this update from the ground.

Convoy flew four planes into Freeport yesterday. Hundreds of families were lined up to receive product from the now-established centralized hub. The island was subject to more than a day of the most violent winds and rain Dorian unleashed as it pounded the Bahamas last week.

One resident, Cindy, waited in line for water, which is a desperate need on the island. She shared that, as the storm was passing through, she tried to protect her children from the seriousness of their situation. Tears welled in her eyes as she spoke, remembering the terror of those hours.

Now though, with water in hand and comforted by the knowledge that she can return for more each day, Cindy expressed her gratitude and left a little more hopeful than when she’d arrived.

September 6, 2019 | 12 p.m.

CAPE HATTERAS, NC — Hurricane Dorian officially made landfall in the U.S. Friday morning at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It is still a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Thankfully, the storm has already cleared the U.S. and is on its way out to sea. Future forecasts have it impacting areas of the Northeast U.S. before hitting Atlantic Canada this weekend as a possible Category 1 storm.

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team was pre-positioned in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is now making their way to New Bern, North Carolina. Once there, they will stage at a local church parking lot before making their way by ferry to the affected areas in the Outer Banks. In the coming days, we will be distributing food, water, hygiene items, baby supplies, and cleaning supplies to the communities affected by Dorian.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The full extent of Dorian’s destruction is being realized. The death toll stands at 20, but will most likely rise. Some estimates claim that 45% of all structures on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands were damaged or destroyed after the hurricane struck as a Category 5 storm. A Convoy of Hope team is flying into Freeport this morning. This will be the first time we’ve been able to bring relief to this heavily affected area. They will be distributing food, water, hygiene kits, menstrual health products, and tarps. Multiple containers are en route to the islands with water, food, tarps and tents, water filters, and solar lights.

September 5, 2019 | 9:15 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian, still a Category 2 hurricane, continues its march of destruction, causing power outages, flooded roads, and even reported tornadoes in North and South Carolina. The East Coast will finally feel some relief when the storm starts to veer back into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, but there’s still a long 24-hours to wait until that happens.

In the Bahamas, the situation is grim. Thirty people have been confirmed dead, but the prime minister warns that the number will soar. Hundreds remain missing. For more than 60,000 survivors, the prospect of food and water shortages are very real, according to the World Food Programme.

Convoy’s Disaster Services team is still on the ground in the Bahamas. They have managed to coordinate flights that will deliver relief goods into the affected islands. Flights are planned to begin tomorrow, and there will be multiple arriving each day. These flights will depart from the east coast of Florida and make deliveries across the affected regions of the Bahamas. We are also actively pursuing the option of sending containers of relief supplies via ship.

Volunteers unload crisis care kits from a plane in Nassau, Bahamas. (Photo/Jess Heugel)

September 5, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.

The eye of Hurricane Dorian is perilously close to the South Carolina coast. After regaining major-hurricane status as a Category 3 storm, it’s 115-mph winds have lashed the southeastern U.S. since Tuesday evening. Dozens of streets are closed due to flooding and more than 200,000 customers have lost electricity, according to local sources. The storm still has the potential to make landfall anywhere along the North and South Carolina coasts.

In the Bahamas, the full extent of Dorian’s destruction is being realized. The death toll stands at 20, but will most likely rise. Some estimates claim that 45% of all structures on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands were damaged or destroyed after the hurricane struck as a Category 5 storm.

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team has already begun training locals on water filter usage. Team members also attended a government meeting to see what the system at-large is doing and how Convoy best fits into that plan. Access is very limited to Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands at this point. These hardest-hit areas are also the most difficult to reach.

As we respond, we’re also exploring options of how to transport supplies and relief to these communities. Our Disaster Services team has moved to North Carolina with two tractor-trailer loads of supplies. As the possibility of a second landfall becomes more likely, they are ready to respond wherever Dorian may strike.

September 4, 2019 | 8:30 p.m.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS Convoy of Hope Reporter Jess Heugel sent this update from the ground.

Throughout many areas of the Bahamas, survivors of Hurricane Dorian are going to sleep under the stars. The mosquitoes are out, and the heat and humidity of the day still lingers in the air. Tens of thousands are huddled in roofless shelters, and others are camped in the ruins of their homes. Tomorrow, they will wake up and wonder if help is on the way.

Convoy of Hope, alongside numerous other agencies and governmental organizations, is working together to answer their question: “Have we been forgotten?” Amidst spotty communication and transportation difficulties, Convoy of Hope is implementing a plan. Coordinating a full-scale response by land, sea, and air takes careful planning. Convoy is sending water, food, tarps and tents, water filters, and solar lights, but access to the hardest hit places remains elusive to nearly every organization on the ground.

Convoy of Hope’s Director of Disaster Services, Ryan Grabill, spent his day in intense conversation with pilots, pastors, governmental leaders, and survivors, to determine the most pressing needs and how to meet them together.

September 4, 2019 | 11 a.m.

NASHVILLE, TN — Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictable path is starting to become clear as it tracks just off the Florida coastline. From where it currently sits, it’s expected to continue up the East Coast and affect residents of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and southeast Virginia between now and Friday. It has remained a Category 2 storm that, despite being much smaller than when it struck the Bahamas earlier this week, will bring dangerous storm surge flooding, high winds, and several inches of rain.

A Convoy of Hope Disaster Services team arrived in Nassau yesterday afternoon with solar lanterns and water filters for immediate distribution. Our team will continue to work with partners to assess needs and find ways to respond accordingly.

Another Disaster Services team is pre-positioned in Tennessee with two truckloads of supplies. This location will allow us to respond more quickly in the event the hurricane affects communities along the southeastern coast.

Buckets for water filtration systems are prepared to distribute to those affected by Hurricane Dorian. (Photo/Jess Heugel)

September 3, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Hurricane Dorian’s sheer force crumpled cars, smashed homes, and knocked down trees all over the Bahamas. Floodwaters rose so quickly that it trapped many residents on top of their houses. Members of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team deployed to the islands early this morning, taking solar lanterns and water filters for immediate distribution. The team will work with partners based in Nassau to assess needs and respond accordingly.

Dorian continues to lose momentum as it approaches the Southeast United States. While the storm is much weaker than it was when it hit the Bahamas this weekend, it still brings dangerous amounts of rain and storm surge. Current forecasts predict the storm will remain a Category 2 hurricane as it traverses the East Coast, with sustained winds of 110 mph.

Another Disaster Services team is en route to Nashville, Tennessee, with two truckloads of supplies. This team is strategically positioning themselves to respond more quickly in the event the hurricane affects communities along the Southeastern coast of the United States.

September 2, 2019 | 11:30 a.m.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 4 hurricane, is causing catastrophic damage to the Northwestern Bahamas. Currently, the storm is over Grand Bahamas and moving at only 1 mph, with winds as high as 155 mph. Life-threatening storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels. On Sunday, before the storm hit the islands, it became a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph. This tied with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane as the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is responding to the devastation and destruction done by Hurricane Dorian. A team will deploy Tuesday morning for Nassau, Bahamas. After arrival, they will connect with partners in the area and will begin providing help to those in need.

“Our team will take solar lights and water filters to distribute immediately,” says Jeff Nene, Convoy of Hope’s National Spokesperson. “In addition, we will work with local partners to distribute food, water, hygiene items, and other disaster relief supplies. We worked in the Bahamas after Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 and have been in contact with many of the partners we worked with then. Our goal will be to provide immediate help to those who need it most.”

In addition to the response to the Bahamas, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team will pre-position a response team in Nashville, Tennessee, to deploy to areas impacted by Dorian as it moves north along the eastern coast of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas over the next few days.

August 31, 2019 | 7:50 p.m.

Hurricane Dorian’s path has shifted; its track has moved to the east, meaning a smaller chance of making direct landfall in Florida. However, the state could still experience life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds. In addition, the risk of strong winds and dangerous storm surge has increased along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

At this time, the Bahamas are still in the path of this very dangerous Category 4 storm. Dorian is expected to strike the islands on Sunday. Convoy of Hope teams have been in close contact with partners in the Bahamas, and will respond alongside them if necessary.

Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is monitoring the storm closely and will deploy the team when and where there is a need, depending on where the storm lands. Convoy is in contact with numerous partners and churches along the potential impact zone. We will continue these communications as long as the storm has the potential to affect the United States.

August 30, 2019 | 9:30 a.m.

As Hurricane Dorian steadily churns its way toward the coast of Florida, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is preparing to depart. Tractor-trailers are being loaded with supplies, vehicles double-checked for the drive, and both local partners and government agencies contacted.

Even with everything ready to go, there is one vital piece of information missing: a destination. Dorian is projected to become a Category 4 storm by the time it reaches the United States, packing sustained winds that could exceed 130 mph, but it’s too early to pinpoint exactly where the storm will hit. Contingency plans are being developed so Convoy’s team can arrive in the hardest-hit areas as soon as the storm passes.

Current models are showing that the storm will hit on Monday. By that time, Convoy of Hope will have food, water, and clean-up supplies, ready to be distributed to those who are affected.



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