Field Ready Responds to Hurricane Irma Devastation
Hurricane Irma has been the most powerful and destructive hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. The destruction began in the Caribbean when Irma’s winds were a Category 5, the strongest measure on the hurricane wind scale.
The losses from Irma are still being quantified, however we know that lives, property and critical infrastructure have been lost in over ten countries. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced. In many places, power has been lost. With the loss of power and infrastructure, communication is a major challenge.
People are in need of immediate assistance. Some of the key resources needed are food, shelter, water and essential non-food items. According to one survivor interviewed by CNN, “Most of the people are left with just the clothes on their backs.” Although the immediate alleviation of suffering is critical, the long-term recovery process will take significant time and resources.
Field Ready is responding to this humanitarian crisis by mobilizing resources. "Now is a critical time," explains Eric James, Field Ready's Executive Director, "Working together with others, we must act fast." Field Ready has worked in some of the direst circumstances, and are equipped to respond in the hardest-hit places.
We will be conducting a needs assessment to better determine how our approach can help alleviate suffering in this region. Our approach focuses on helping to make critical repairs, produce needed items and, while doing so, helping people to help themselves.
Field Ready will begin by responding to the US Virgin Islands, where people are struggling without shelter, food and water. Island infrastructure has been destroyed in many cases, including the only hospital on St. Thomas, where there is a great need for medical assistance and additional supplies.
The impact of our work is unlike other aid agencies. A single repair, such as fixing a power supply, can benefit thousands of people. “We’ll be able to rapidly make a difference,” says Dara Dotz, a member of Field Ready’s Rapid Emergency Deployment Team. “With the start of our response, we’ll begin with the aim of building people’s resilience.”
As we begin to work, please consider donating to our relief efforts to help the many people affected by this tragic disaster.