Helping Our Bahamian Neighbors:  
The storm left unbelievable devastation behind in the Bahamas. Abaco and Grand Bahama were particularly hard hit. Initial aerial assessments show widespread devastation to the islands, from destroyed homes to contaminated water sources. Jenelle Eli, director, International Communications for the American Red Cross, reports the situation is dire, especially on Abaco. Below, video footage of Abaco shows total obliteration of portions of the island and large areas completely covered by water. 

More than 13,000 houses are believed to have been damaged or destroyed. That’s equivalent to about 45 percent of all dwellings on the two islands in The Bahamas that were impacted most by Hurricane Dorian. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide much needed funds to support disaster relief in the affected areas.

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Give Money, Not Things.
You may have extra clothes and supplies, or want to hold a bottled water drive, but donate your money, rather than your items, to relief organizations. The organizations that most deserve your donations at this time are those that are in a position to help on the ground. The American Red Cross is almost always the first on the scene, because they pre-position teams of volunteers as well as supplies to already be in the location where the disaster strikes.

A rapid assessment and response team is currently focusing on emergency shelter and urgent needs. Relief supplies to support temporary shelter needs of 1,500 families are in country. Red Cross shelter and other sector specialists are on the ground to provide immediate relief while conducting assessments, and search and rescues is a current priority while the full scope and scale of needs is still being determined. Red Cross volunteers and staff will also distribute meals and food rations to people who may have gone without food in days.