By Angela Hill
 
As the Bahamas Red Cross Society prepared to support people affected by Hurricane Dorian into their recovery, they looked to the Canadian Red Cross.
 
Programs that the Canadian Red Cross has used to support people impacted by wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta fit well with the needs on the ground in the Bahamas.

“We recognize there are similarities,” said Kelly Hansen, Director, Recovery Operations for the Canadian Red Cross.
 
“The Bahamas Red Cross wanted to have a relationship with the people they are helping, that were impacted by the disaster, and that is the process we use in Canada. We are excited to share some of our learnings and apply them in this situation.”
 
Kelly spent several weeks after the storm meeting with Bahamas Red Cross staff and frontline volunteers, getting a better understanding of their process and how to grow and strengthen it.

Red Cross teams in the Bahamas
 
“I love working alongside the team in their desire to support people impacted by the storm,” Kelly said.
 
Volunteers and staff from the Bahamas Red Cross have been supporting affected communities since Hurricane Dorian made landfall on September 1. The Category 5 storm remained in the Bahamas for almost two days, causing widespread destruction to homes and infrastructure – particularly on the northern islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.
 
Three months later, communities have regained teleconnectivity, road access has improved, and ports and airports are operational again, but the needs are still immense. As many residents start to return home to Abaco and Grand Bahama they are starting to assess the damage to their homes and determine their next steps.
 
Canadian Red Cross  is part of an International Red Cross response to the disaster.