Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on Sunday, September 1, as a Category 5, the strongest level of hurricane. The storm moved very slowly, leaving widespread devastation in the Bahamas. The death toll so far is 50 people, with some 2,500 people missing (NPR, Sept. 12, 2019). It’s expected to take weeks or even months to have a full accounting of the missing and dead.

After leaving the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in North Carolina, causing significant damage in coastal areas. Many of the people affected by Hurricane Dorian were also affected by Hurricane Florence last year.

Church World Service (CWS) is responding both in the Bahamas and in North Carolina. In the Bahamas, CWS is responding as part of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance, and advocacy. CWS staff are being deployed as part of the ACT Alliance Rapid Support Team to assess the needs and determine a response strategy, likely to be focused on mid- and long-term recovery efforts.

In the United States, CWS is shipping CWS emergency cleanup buckets, school kits, hygiene kits and blankets to affected areas. CWS will work with long-term recovery groups and other organizations to help meet the unmet needs of their communities, with a focus on vulnerable migrant or refugee populations.

Donations to CWS hurricane response efforts can be made online at cwsglobal.org/2019hurricanes, or sent to CWS, PO Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. When sending a check to CWS, please designate 628-J, 2019 Hurricane Response. Visit cwskits.org to learn more about assembling or donating CWS kits.

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