Irma made landfall in the Caribbean on Sept. 6 as a category-5 hurricane, affecting the following islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, St. Barthelemy, St. Maarten/St. Martin, British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Turks and Caicos.
Maria made landfall on Dominica and Guadalupe islands in the eastern Caribbean on Sept. 18-19 as a category-5 storm. It continued on and slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a category-4/3 storm on Sept. 20.
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Sources: The National Weather Service, FEMA, National Hurricane Center, United Nations organizations, responding VOADs and NGOs.
The long-term recovery across the Caribbean is expected to take years, especially in Puerto Rico, which experienced the brunt of the two hurricanes in the span of two weeks. After beginning the initial recovering from Irma, Hurricane Maria devastated much of what remained intact on the island of 3.4 million people.
Estimates for storm damage range between $45 billion to $95 billion. The island’s infrastructure was so battered that fewer than thirty-percent of residents had electricity more than a month after Maria hit, and nearly twenty-percent of the population lacked access to municipal water supplies seven weeks after the storm.
The hurricane also disrupted research in the global seed business because nearly 85 percent of commercial crop seeds are researched on Puerto Rico, according to the Puerto Rico Agricultural Biotechnology Industry Association.
Maria, the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, killed at least 49 people in Puerto Rico, according to government officials. That’s on top of at least two deaths on the island attributed to Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 134 across the Caribbean and United States.
FEMA issued disaster declarations on the island for both Maria and Irma.
In addition to FEMA’s response, the U.S. Army’s Corps of Engineers deployed debris management strategies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including seventeen chainsaw teams and an incident management team.
Maria also damaged Barbuda, Dutch St. Martin, Dominica, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Cuba. Officials had to evacuate Barbuda because it was uninhabitable immediately after the hurricane. The storm also damaged an estimated 90 percent of the buildings on St. Martin.
- 3M Foundation, $1 million to multiple recipients.
- Abbott Fund, $750,000 to multiple recipients.
- Abbott Laboratories Corporate Giving Program, $250,000 to multiple recipients.
- Acacia Network Inc., $1 million to Donate Puerto Rico.
- American Water Charitable Foundation Inc. $23,333 to American Red Cross.
- Amgen Foundation, $5 million to unknown recipients for urgent and long-term recovery in Puerto Rico.
- Anderson Corporate Fund, $50,000 to Americares, $75,000 to American Red Cross.
- Bacardi & Company Limited Contributions Program, $2 million to unknown recipients for Puerto Rico. $1 million to Pan American Development Foundation.
- Carlos Beltran, $1 million to Fundacion Carlos Beltran.
- Casey’s General Stores Inc. Contributions Program, $33,000 to American Red Cross.
- Center for Disaster Philanthropy has launched the CDP Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund and the CDP Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund to focus support on medium and long-term rebuilding needs.
- Coach Foundation, $33,000 to Direct Relief.
- The Coca-Cola Company Contributions Program, $1 million to Salvation Army, $300,000 to unknown recipients in St. Kitts, Turks and Caicos and Barbuda.
- The David Tepper Charitable Foundation Inc., $1 million to Feeding America.
- Delta Air Lines Inc. Contributions Program, $750,000 to American Red Cross.
- Diageo PLC Contributions Program, $1 million to unknown recipients.
- E & J Gallo Winery Corporate Giving Program, $100,000 to American Red Cross.
- Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, $125,000 to American Red Cross.
- Enterprise Community Partners Inc., has launched the Enterprise Hurrican Community Recovery Fund for immediate and long-term recovery following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
- Enterprise Rend-A-Car Foundation, $100,000 to Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico, $100,000 to Americares, $50,000 to SPCA International.
- EVERTEC Inc. Contributions Program, $1 million to unknown recipients.
- Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Contributions Program, $1 million to unknown recipients.
- FedEx Corporation Contributions Program, $500,000 to unknown recipients.
- org, $250,000 to unknown recipients.
- Home Depot Foundation, $500,000 to unknown recipients.
- Humana Foundation Inc., $250,000 to American Red Cross.
- The Hurricane Maria Community Recovery Fund for Puerto Rico has launched and is housed at the Center for Popular Democracy.
- Jennifer Lopez, $1 million to unknown recipients.
- JetBlue Airways Corporation Contributions Program, $1 million to unknown recipients.
- Kaiser Permanente Corporate Giving Program, $1 million to CDC Foundation.
- Knights of Columbus, $100,000 to unknown recipients.
- Lowe’s Companies Inc. Contributions Program, $250,000 to unknown recipients.
- M & T Bank Corporate Giving Program, $100,000 to American Red Cross.
- Major League Baseball Corporate Giving Program, $500,000 to multiple recipients.
- One America Appeal is an effort from the five former U.S. presidents to raise relief funds for Harvey, Irma, and Maria victims.
- PepsiCo Foundation Inc., $1 million to American Red Cross for Puerto Rico and Caribbean.
- Puerto Rico por Puerto Rico has launched a recovery fund.
- RicanStruction has launched a recovery fund for Puerto Rico.
- Ricky Martin, $100,000 to unknown recipients.
- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Contributions Program, $500,000 to World Vision.
- The Sallie Mae Fund Inc. $16,666 to American Red Cross.
- Sheetz Inc. Contributions Program, $50,000 to American Red Cross.
- Starbucks Foundation, $250,000 to unknown recipients.
- United Air Lines Inc. Contributions Program, $50,000 to unknown recipients.
- Verizon Foundation, $1 million to multiple recipients.
- The Wal-Mart Foundation Inc., $5 million to unknown recipients.
- American Red Cross has an estimated 500 trained disaster workers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are working with the entire response community to get help to people as quickly as possible.
- Americares has provided more than $36 million in assistance to health care facilities across the Caribbean.
- Clean the World is working to distribute hygiene kits in areas affected by Maria.
- Direct Relief has delivered shipments, including one airlift of more than 150,000 pounds, of medical aid in San Juan, and it is working the Puerto Rico Department of Health and others.
- Disaster Services Corps SVDP-USA has launched Operation Lone Star, which includes recovery assistance centers distributing gift cards, hygiene kits and clean-up buckets in its first phase.
- Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic is planning initial programming to help with housing recovery after Irma. Efforts will go toward housing repairs, shelter kits, debris removal, and training, among other activities.
- Habitat for Humanity is providing shelter kits to Puerto Rico.
- Healthcare Ready has activated its’ resources in Puerto Rico and USVI.
- International Medical Corps is on the ground in Puerto Rico and is working with local partners to identify immediate needs to ensure that families and communities have access to health care. It also has team members in Antigua and Barbuda.
- NetHope has assisted the restoration of communication at thirty-three sites in Puerto Rico and has requests for assistance at 133 sites across the Caribbean.
- Oxfam is preparing a response focused on water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. The organization has expressed concern about the risk of dengue, zika, cholera, leptospirosis and other vector-borne diseases. Oxfam would also respond to with food aid for the most affected people, should that be required.
- Project Hope is working with the Puerto Rican Department of Health and others to address growing health needs. Project Hope has received DOH approval to procure and ship medicine and medical supplies to the island.
- Save the Children is mobilizing resources to Puerto Rico to help meet the needs of children and families.
- Toolbank is working to supply volunteer groups engaged in recovery in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
- VIMSIA is raising money to rebuild its school for toddlers through twelfth-grade in the Virgin Islands. The school offers Montessori and international baccalaureate programs.
- World Food Program has deployed staff throughout the Caribbean in affected areas, for assessments and distribution when ports reopen. It’s also seeking $20.2 million for response and recovery, including deploying emergency telecommunications support and additional humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean.
- World Hope International is supporting the delivery of medicine, emergency power and water filtration to Puerto Rico, Dominica and the U.S. and British Virgin islands.
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Facts and Stats
- The last category-5 hurricane to strike Puerto Rico was San Felipe II in 1928. More than 300 people on the island were killed. The storm destroyed nearly 25,000 homes and damaged nearly 200,000 more.
- Maria strengthened from a Category 1 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in one day.
- As of Sept. 27 there are more than 10,000 federal staff, including 700 FEMA workers, on the ground in Puerto Rico.