As communities in the Bahamas fight to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian, relief charity Airlink is moving specialized responders into place.
On September 1, Hurricane Dorian made its first landfall on Elbow Cay, in the Abacos of the northwestern Bahamas as a Category 5 storm. Its second landfall on Great Abaco Island near Marsh Harbour followed shortly after. The islands were battered by the major hurricane for more than 48 hours. Initial reports indicate catastrophic damage occurred with upwards of 76,000 people impacted.
As part of its mission to mobilize the aviation community in times of disaster, Airlink began transporting relief workers to Florida and other east coast states prior to the storm’s arrival in an effort to ensure a swift response to communities in need.
“Helping our relief partners overcome transportation and logistics challenges to help impacted communities as quickly as possible is our goal,” said Airlink president and CEO Steven J. Smith. “We are extremely grateful for our donors who are making our life-saving efforts possible.”
Airlink is assisting more than 15 response partners, including Save the Children, Empact Northwest, Heart to Heart International, and World Central Kitchen. The organizations bring a wide variety of specializations to disaster-stricken communities and will provide search and rescue operations, medical care, safe spaces for children, food and clean water provisions, and other essential assistance.
World Central Kitchen, which focuses on providing meals to disaster survivors, relies on Airlink’s quick response to support its response.
“World Central Kitchen is grateful for the support of Airlink as our team prepares to respond to Hurricane Dorian. The ability to be able to quickly travel and position our relief efforts where they are needed most is critical, and our partnership with Airlink helps enable us to do just that,” said Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen executive director.
Cash donations from Airlink supporters and travel assistance from Air Canada, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines, are making the response possible.
Though growing in size, Dorian has since weakened to a Category 2 hurricane as it continues to threaten communities along the U.S. East Coast. Concerns remain over the slow-moving storm and the impact of prolonged exposure to heavy winds and rain on communities in its track.
Due to continued need and requests from partners to transport additional relief workers and emergency supplies, Airlink is raising funds to support future flights and operations. Please donate.