Red Cross on the ground responding to Hurricane Irma

Topics: Americas, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
September 13, 2017

Hurricane Irma

One of the strongest hurricanes to hit the Caribbean in recent history, Irma’s torrential rains and winds have flooded towns and roads, and destroyed homes and buildings. More than 1.2 million people across the Caribbean have been exposed to its effects so far.

Red Cross societies from around the world are responding on Caribbean islands where Hurricane Irma has left behind catastrophic devastation, starting what could become a complex, multi-country relief and recovery effort.

The International Federation of the Red Cross has released emergency funds to ensure a rapid Red Cross response in Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Relief operations will place a heavy emphasis on cash – ensuring that people who lost their homes and belongings will have the financial resources to navigate the difficult weeks to come. Other priorities include emergency shelter and the distribution of basic household supplies.

The Canadian Red Cross has personnel on the ground in Sint Maarten, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, providing emergency relief, completing damage assessments and coordinating the distribution of relief efforts so that there are no duplications of services.

“The Canadian Red Cross is working closely with the International Federation of the Red Cross on this response,” says Chiran Livera, Senior Manager Operations at the Canadian Red Cross. “We have already begun distributing non-food items such as, hygiene kits, blankets, tarps, jerry cans, kitchen kits, and buckets, to affected populations in the Caribbean.

Additional Canadian Red Cross personnel and relief supplies are on standby to go to the Caribbean quickly if needed.

Canadians wishing to support the Red Cross response to Hurricane Irma can make a financial donation to the Hurricane Irma Appeal.

Donations will be used to support any of the most vulnerable regions impacted by the hurricane.

About the Canadian Red Cross

Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and throughout the world.