Response to Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas

3 minutes read time
On September 2, 2019, U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk crews, working with Red Cross Bahamas, Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency, Odyssey Aviation, and others transported injured persons from Abaco to Nassau for urgent care. [U.S. Embassy Nassau Photo]

Response to Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas

On September 1, Hurricane Dorian made landfall over The Bahamas’ Abaco Islands with sustained wind speeds of 185 miles per hour—a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The hurricane made secondary landfall over Grand Bahama Island and continues to slowly track over the northwest Bahamas, resulting in heavy rainfall, flooding, and storm surges. The Government of The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has established emergency shelters for people displaced by the storm; initial media reports indicate significant damage to housing and infrastructure in Abaco and Grand Bahama, while assessments and search-and-rescue operations remain ongoing.

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Embassy Nassau are working to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian.  We urge U.S. citizens in The Bahamas who have been affected by the hurricane to contact their loved ones. To notify us of U.S. citizens needing assistance in The Bahamas, call 888-407-4747 (in the United States) or 202-501-4444 (abroad), or email ACSNassau@state.gov.  Follow @USEmbassyNassau for updates from The Bahamas.

On September 2, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Bowers of U.S. Embassy Nassau declared a disaster due to the effects of the hurricane in The Bahamas. In response, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is preparing to provide relief commodities and technical assistance to support emergency relief operations. USAID/OFDA activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 2; additional staff will continue to arrive in the coming days, as weather and transport conditions allow. In Washington, D.C., USAID/OFDA stood up a Response Management Team (RMT) to support the DART and coordinate with the U.S. government interagency. In coordination with NEMA, USAID/OFDA is preparing to transport relief items including plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, water buckets, and chainsaws.

When crisis strikes, Americans are among the first to offer assistance to those in need. As a U.S. government agency, USAID does not accept donations for its crisis response efforts, but non-governmental organizations may issue appeals for donations depending on the crisis.  To learn how you can help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas, please visit www.cidi.org/hurricane-dorian/.

Those in the United States who may be affected by Hurricane Dorian should continue to follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials.  For information on how to prepare, please visit ready.gov/hurricanes.  Follow @FEMA, @NHC_Atlantic, and @Readygov for updates.  Additional information and resources can be found at www.fema.gov/hurricane-dorian.