Photo Credit: Ethan Schwartz / IsraAID
IsraAID personnel working to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, 2017

As Hurricane Dorian lashed the Bahamas with winds of up to 220 miles per hour, Israeli humanitarian aid agency IsraAID has been preparing to send emergency support.

While the full scale of Dorian’s devastation is still unclear, at least five people were reported killed and as many as 13,000 homes damaged or destroyed on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands.

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The hurricane made landfall on Grand Bahama in the early hours of Monday morning, continuing to batter the island all day. By Tuesday afternoon, Dorian had slowed to a Category 2 hurricane, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake as it rolled on, packing sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

The storm is still considered a “monster,” and expected to get “dangerously” close to Florida’s east coast in the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Miami is under a tropical storm warning, but Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Fort Pierce were under a hurricane warning as of mid-afternoon Tuesday, as was Charleston, South Carolina. Savannah Georgia, Wilmington and Hatteras, North Carolina were all under a hurricane watch.

IsraAID’s Emergency Response team will distribute urgent relief supplies, offer psychological first aid and deploy water filters to restore access to drinking water while conducting further needs assessments in affected communities.

In 2018, IsraAID Emergency Response teams reached 26,300 people with safe water, psychological and community support, and relief following nine disasters in seven countries. The humanitarian NGO has responded to repeated hurricanes in the region in recent years, including Irma and Michael in Florida, Florence in North Carolina, Harvey in Texas, and Maria in Dominica and Puerto Rico. IsraAID’s teams are still on the ground in Dominica and Puerto Rico, supporting communities as they recover and rebuild, nearly two years after Hurricane Maria.

Based in Israel, since 2001 IsraAID has become synonymous with a rapid response to humanitarian crises. Its medical teams, post-trauma experts, community specialists and other professionals have led international responses to disasters and civil strife around the world. After the initial emergency period, the organization shifts to long-term programs. As of 2019, IsraAID has responded to crises in more than 50 countries.

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