Hi friends- as I’m sure you’ve seen, Category 5 Hurricane Irma is bearing down with record windspeeds, carving a path through the Caribbean islands on the way to Florida. Port-au-Prince and all of southern Haiti is under tropical storm warning, while a hurricane warning has been issued for the north. I’m gearing up for wind and rain starting in a few hours.
I will be fine: my second-story apartment has a good roof, low flood risk, and I have plenty of clean water and food and friends to keep me company.
Not everyone is as fortunate. Any level of hurricane will mean devastation for lots of Haitians: those who live in fragile shelters, those whose neighborhoods will flood, those who rely on farming for survival and will go hungry without this harvest.
In the aftermath of last October’s Hurricane Matthew, MCC Haiti responded to immediate effects of the storm with food, hygiene kits, water purification tablets, and blankets. MCC also addressed the more hidden, equally insidious aftereffects: we funded a domestic violence shelter in response to the uptick in intra-familial violence that corresponds with natural disasters and displacement. We assisted families in replanting gardens that were destroyed, using agroforestry techniques that will hopefully make the land more resilient in the long term.
I’ll check in after the storm passes and let you know if there are ways you can help. For now, send your thoughts to those who will be affected by this storm, in Haiti and throughout the Caribbean.