UPDATE: After Hurricane Maria decimated Dominica on Sept. 19 and then ravaged Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, Samaritan’s Purse responded by sending a disaster assistance response team (DART) and emergency supplies to each island.
An 18-member DART is on the ground in Puerto Rico, and our first distribution of airlifted emergency supplies occurred Sept. 27. Working in partnership with local churches, we continue distributing heavy-duty shelter plastic, blankets, and hygiene kits to thousands of families. Generators have also been flown to Puerto Rico to help residents dealing without electricity—a situation that may last for many months to come.
Hurricane Maria ripped across the Caribbean and the storm decimated sections of Dominica as a Category 5 storm killing at least one person and has then moved on to cause catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico.
Samaritan’s Purse was in position to respond to Hurricane Maria as we had already been sending aircraft and disaster relief team members from the U.S. and Canada to deliver supplies and relief expertise in response to Hurricane Irma.
“In Turks and Caicos, for example, our goal was to preempt the arrival of hurricane Maria with as many relief materials as possible to supply churches with everything they need to serve their people,” says Rich Peavey, Response Manager with the Samaritan’s Purse Irma response. “We delivered supplies (tarp, blankets, emergency water, hygiene kits) for 4,000 households prior to the storm.”
So far, Samaritan’s Purse’s DC-8 has made about 10 flights to Caribbean islands to help save lives and reduce suffering on the islands.
More than 6,400 tarps for shelter, more than 1,800 hygiene kits, almost 5,000 blankets, safe water and food have been distributed benefitting thousands of households since Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane.
“We are blessed with a great team and the resources to respond quickly when disaster arrives on the doorsteps of neighbor wherever they be around the world,” says David Bock, Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s response manager. “Our disaster response is an expression of our faith and demonstration of our love for people when their needs are greatest. We are working hard to do everything we can to help people prepare for Hurricane Maria at the same time as help people recover from Irma.”
Please pray for the people of the Caribbean and our team members as they continue to distribute emergency relief and help begin the process of rebuilding and cleaning up in the aftermath.
Samaritan's Purse responds to humanitarian crises with physical aid and a message of spiritual hope for victims of natural disasters, famine, poverty, and war. Your gift will allow us to share Jesus' love through clean water, food, shelter, medical supplies, personnel, and other aid.