By September 14, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Running out of Food and Water, They Need Our Help: USVI, BVI #HurricaneIrma

USVI and BVI mean so much to my husband and me. That’s our Happy Place. From Atlanta, we can be there in three hours. The devastation of the Southeast by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been savage, but what has happened to our friends and fam in the islands is close to annilation. The visitors to the islands have been returned to the mainland, but the Islanders remain with limited resources. There is a lottery type replacement based on medical needs and age.

They are running out of food and water and really need our help. 

But, this is a real problem. These are American and British citizens and they need our help. Dr. Brianna Grantham has been kind enough to share what she has found, and how that we can pitch in and assist with this heart break.

From Brianna:

The U.S. Virgin Islands have survived dozens of hurricanes in the past, but Irma was no ordinary Category 5 hurricane. While St. Croix escaped with minimal damage, residents of St. Thomas and St. John were not so lucky.

Aside from the devastating effect on the normally lush islands’ vegetation, Irma destroyed more homes than she left standing. Thomians and Johnians have spent the days since Wednesday, September 6th locating friends and loved ones, rescuing those trapped in homes with collapsed roofs or walls, clearing roads blocked by fallen trees, sorting through what remains of their water-damaged belongings, and trying to remain hopeful.

Cell phone service is spotty and limited to small areas on St. Thomas – when the tower isn’t overloaded by the sheer number of people trying to communicate with one another and the outside world. Neither St. Thomas nor St. John has electricity – save those with generators and the precious fuel to run them.

Drinking water is in limited supply, and although FEMA, the Coast Guard, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marines are working around the clock to support the islanders, both food and potable water are in short supply. Commercial airlines still do not have access to St. Thomas.

 
But there is hope. Restaurants with gas stoves or generators cooked and gave away all the food they had in the days after the storm. Puerto Ricans and Crucians collected food, water, clothes, and other much-needed islands and sent them by boat to the largely-stranded residents of St. Thomas and St. John.
 
 
 
Private funds have been started, St. John and country music icon Kenny Chesney has started the Love for Love City (St. John’s nickname) foundation, friends and family of islanders have formed an impressive international coconut telegraph to crowdsource safe check-ins for people on-island, as well as to share information, resources, and funds to support the people of the V.I. Irma was strong, but the VI is stronger. VI nice, VI strong.
 
Want to help?
  • Kenny Chesney’s foundation, Love for Love City
  • St. Thomas residents Sabrina Jureidini and Pam Engle have organized the U.S. Virgin Islands “Adopt a Family” care package program
  • VI Strong, Virgin Islands Relief Fund
  • United Way, USVI
  • Crucian NBA player Tim Duncan has donated $250,000 and will match up to $1 million in additional donations. Info here.
Thank you so much for your willingness to share and support the VI. I honestly don’t know how to select photos because each is as painful to me as the next, but Edwin Segura has compiled a blog of the storm damage here. This is the Coast Guard’s damage assessment flyover video, and this video is from Jon Adams (I don’t think the chopper was low enough to really grasp the extent of the damage).
 
***5.26pm Update***
Electricity has been restored to some parts of St Thomas in town (Charlotte Amalie & Cruz Bay), 3 free wifi hubs have been set up, and there is currently an effort to get a powerful generator onto St. John to provide electricity. There is still concern about people traveling from the BVI to the USVI…The BVI sustained so much damage, but I’ve less information on the relief efforts because they’re primarily coming from the UK – although St. Croix and Puerto Rico have also sent supplies to the BVI. 
 
Gratefully,

Brianna J. Grantham, PhD, Principal

BJG Consulting LLC
*Photographs courtesy of FEMA
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About the Author:

I am a writer. Originally from Tennessee, I now live in Atlanta, GA. History, travel, and international culture are my specialties. Look for my fictional stories, written as Hunter S. Jones. If you love Tudor England, check out PHOENIX RISING a story of magic, secrets, betrayal and revenge based on the last hour of Anne Boleyn's life. Now on Amazon and in a bookstore near you.
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