Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones pose significant global threats to life and property, including storm surges, flooding, extreme winds and tornadoes. Additionally, rainfall rates and cyclone intensities are projected to increase.
Another above-average hurricane season is in the forecast for 2022. In 2021, there were 21 named storms, making it the third most active on record in terms of named systems. The National Hurricane Center provides a list of the 2022 storm names.
(Photo: Damage in Fort Myers Beach, Florida after Hurricane Ian. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office via @JulieMartinTV Twitter)
Experts agree that La Niña conditions are still in place and are expected to persist throughout 2022 and possibly into 2023. There is a 91% chance that conditions will remain from September to November 2022, an 80% chance from November 2022 through January 2023 and a 54% chance from January to March 2023. La Niña typically increases the amount of activity seen during hurricane season compared to El Niño.
On Aug. 4, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a revised update to their Atlantic Hurricane Season predictions. Despite the low level of activity so far in the season, NOAA still predicts an above-normal season with 14-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes. With less than three months left in the 2022 hurricane season, this could mean that some areas will receive multiple storms in quick succession, leading to additional challenges for disaster relief and recovery.
To date (Sept. 28) there have been nine named storms including four hurricanes, with two major hurricanes. Tropical depression 11 has formed several hundred miles to the west of the Cabo Verde islands. It is expected to become Tropical Storm Julia on Wednesday or Thursday but will turn north and stay out in the Atlantic before dissipating on Saturday.
Hurricane Ian smashes into Cuba and Florida, moves up the East Coast
Here’s how we can make a difference before disaster strikes
What we’re watching: Weekly disaster update, September 26
Hurricane Fiona slams into Puerto Rico, moves into Dominican Republic
What we’re watching: Weekly disaster update, September 19
Status: Ian became a hurricane in the early hours of Sept. 26 and emerged into the Gulf of Mexico after passing through Cuba, as a Category 3 major hurricane.
Ian made landfall in Florida as a Category 4, with a windspeed of 150 mph, just shy of a Category 5 hurricane. Landfall occurred at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sept. 28, on the barrier island of Cayo Costa, the exact same location where Hurricane Charley made landfall in 2004. The outer rain bands had already brought significant impacts and flooding to western Florida and the rain is expected to continue for 24 hours.
According to a discussion note issued by the National Hurricane Center at 2 p.m. on Sept. 28, t 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Ian was located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft and Tampa radar data near latitude 26.6 North, longitude 82.3 West. Ian is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph (15 km/h). This general motion with a reduction in forward speed is forecast today, followed by a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move onshore soon, move over central Florida tonight and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday. Ian is forecast to turn northward on Friday and approach the northeastern Florida coast in addition to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts late Friday.” “
Ian made landfall in Cuba’s Pinar Del Rio province near the town of La Coloma at 4:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 27 as a very strong Category 3. According to Weather.com, “Storm surge flooding, heavy rain and damaging winds lashed Cuba’s western provinces late Monday into Tuesday in what was far western Cuba’s first Category 3 landfall in 14 years. Hurricane conditions are still ongoing in western Cuba.”
Status: According to a discussion note issued by the Canadian Hurricane Centre at 9 a.m. Sept. 25, “Post-tropical storm Fiona headed north into the Gulf of St. Lawrence Saturday and brought damaging winds, torrential rainfall, large waves and destructive storm surge to the region. Fiona became fully absorbed by the upper trough on Sunday the 25th, and the remnant low still generated gale to storm force wind gusts as it moved over the Lower Quebec North Shore and then Labrador.”
Canada: Hurricane Fiona passed directly over parts of Atlantic Canada, leaving significant damage in its wake. According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, Fiona was the lowest pressure storm to make landfall in Canada. The storm wreaked havoc on Canada’s farming, fishing and fish processing industries, destroying crop land, boats, harbors and fish processing plants.
Hardest hit was the town of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, the island province’s main connection to the rest of the country, where at least a dozen homes were washed out to sea. About 100 homes have been declared destroyed, with both damages and destruction counts expected to rise as people return home and assess. At least one person is confirmed dead, a 73-year-old woman who was swept away by the water. On Sept. 27, the Government of Canada issued rainfall weather warnings for Port aux Basques and the surrounding area. Up to four inches of rain is expected and the ground is already saturated. The rainfall will hamper Fiona recovery.
In Prince Edward Island (PEI), nearly 65,000 customers are still without power as of noon central on Sept. 27. One person in PEI died. Several schools across the island were destroyed as was much of the early potato crop.
In Nova Scotia, approximately 130,000 customers in the province were without power on Sept. 27, causing additional challenges as people ran out of fuel for their generators and emergency services struggled to access calls due to fallen trees and power lines. Canada’s military has been deployed to support the recovery, with hundreds of soldiers deployed to Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. An older man with dementia has been reported missing and is believed to have been swept out to sea.
Bermuda: Fiona passed approximately 75 miles west of Bermuda as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Sept. 23, leaving approximately 70% of the island without power. Damage appears to be minimal, with the Tourism Authority stating that Bermuda was ready to receive tourists and there were no disruptions to planned events. While schools were closed on Sept. 23, they all reopened for regular days as of Sept. 26.
Turks and Caicos: The eye of Fiona passed quite close to Grand Turk, but officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands have reported no deaths and only minimal damage. Telecommunications on the islands was disrupted.
Dominican Republic: Hurricane Fiona made landfall Sept. 19 at 3:30 a.m. (Atlantic) near Boca de Yuma in the Dominican Republic on the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola. The initial winds were sustained at 90 miles per hour with higher wind gusts. Rain was expected to continue through Tuesday as the storm crossed the country. After Fiona left Hispaniola it strengthened to a Category 2 and then to a Category 3 storm, making it the first major hurricane of the season.
At least 800 people have been displaced. Over 50 homes have been reported as damaged. At least one million people do not have running water and nearly three-quarters of a million homes and businesses are without power. Two people were killed. Nearly 13,000 left their homes due to flooding and many were in shelters.
Puerto Rico: Hurricane Fiona made landfall as a Category 1 storm at 3:20 p.m. ET on Sept. 18, near Punta Tocon on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Wind speed was 85 miles per hour and the slow-moving storm brought catastrophic flooding with it. According to the National Hurricane Center, some areas received as much as 25-30 inches of rain, with many receiving 10-15 inches. The rainfall recorded in Puerto Rico caused rivers to rise higher than during Hurricane Maria (2017).
The entire island – over 1.4 million customers – lost power the morning of Sept. 18, and as of Monday, Sept. 27, just under 500,000 customers remained without power. LUMA Energy had said that full restoration could take several days. Only about 30% of the island has potable water due to the impacts of rain and flooding.
Photos from the area show extensive damage to houses and infrastructure. A bridge in Utuado repaired by the National Guard after Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017 was once again washed away. While 2017’s Hurricane Maria caused significant supply chain challenges for medical devices and pharmaceuticals that are manufactured on the island, reports indicate that no similar challenges are expected from Hurricane Fiona.
At least 21 people have died in storm-related deaths according to the government. After Hurricane Maria, there were many challenges in getting the government to release an accurate count of storm-related deaths, which include those that occurred directly in the hurricane and those that occurred in the aftermath.
Over 2,000 people have taken refuge in shelters across the island.
Fiona made landfall on the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo (1989) and just a few days before the anniversary of Hurricane Maria (2017). Prior to Fiona, more than 3,000 homes still had blue tarps on the roofs because of damage from Hurricane Maria.
Guadeloupe: One death was reported in Basse-Terre in the French Territory of Guadeloupe after a house was swept away by water with the resident inside. The capital there was inundated with flooding and there were significant infrastructure losses. According to the Joint Water and Sanitation Management Union of Guadeloupe, about 151,000 subscribers were affected by water outages. Repairs will be lengthy because of the damage to the infrastructure. About 100 homes were without power and 340 did not have telecommunications after the storm.
Bonnie, the first major hurricane of the eastern North Pacific season, began as a tropical storm that dropped heavy rain over Central America. The storm caused heavy flooding and led to two deaths in Nicaragua on July 5. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour) and is heading westward farther into the Pacific. This is the first “crossover” storm since November 2016, meaning it tracked in both the Eastern Pacific and the Atlantic basins.
As with many other weather and hazard-related disasters, the increased quantity and intensity of hurricanes are directly related to climate change.
According to the New York Times, “The links between hurricanes and climate change have become clearer with each passing year. Data shows that hurricanes have become stronger worldwide during the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time, and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms — though the overall number of storms could drop, because factors like stronger wind shear could keep weaker storms from forming. Hurricanes are also becoming wetter because of more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would have without the human effects on climate. Also, rising sea levels are contributing to higher storm surge — the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.”
Many people struggle to find safe and affordable housing following a hurricane, particularly those from poor and marginalized backgrounds. For example, Hurricane Ida exacerbated an affordable housing crisis in New Orleans as housing supply post-disaster was low, but demand was high.
Numerous homes have been reported damaged and destroyed in the areas impacted by Hurricane Fiona, but a complete count is not yet available.
Economic and community development
The compounding effects of COVID-19 delayed recovery from storms in 2021. Livelihoods support and investing in local economies are still needed for people to recover fully.
Health and behavioral health
Research shows that hurricanes cause and exacerbate multiple diseases. While many health impacts peak within six months following hurricanes, chronic diseases continue to occur for years. Hurricanes also inflict harm to the mental health of people in their paths.
There is a high rate of disability in Puerto Rico. According to the most recent data from the 2019 American Community Survey the prevalence of disabilities was:
- 21.7 percent for persons of all ages
- 0.8 percent for persons ages 4 and under
- 11.7 percent for persons ages 5 to 15
- 9.1 percent for persons ages 16 to 20
- 16.6 percent for persons ages 21 to 64
- 37 percent for persons ages 65 to 74
- 61.9 percent for persons ages 75+
Residents are unable to access federal disability income support benefits, so many disabled residents live in poverty on the island.
As of Sept.27, there were 951,690 cases of COVID-19 (including 34,083 active cases) and 5,118 deaths in Puerto Rico and 18,122 (52 active) cases and 148 deaths in Bermuda. The Dominican Republic was last updated on Sept. 18 and has 644,016 cases, with 4,384 deaths and only 721 active cases. Guadeloupe has 191,997 cases (none active) and 986 deaths as of August 30. Turks and Caicos has 6,380 cases (23 active) and 36 deaths (as of Sept. 14).
Government recovery assistance
Once again, infrastructure spending will be an important area. While the federal government has promised to support recovery for U.S.-based disasters, there is still a 25% cost-share that some local governments may have issues funding. In other countries, there may not be the structural funding programs that the U.S. has in place. That is one area that philanthropy can be of assistance with infrastructure spending.
Technical assistance and oversight from philanthropy may also be helpful. As of August 2022, Puerto Rico had only spent 19% ($5.3 billion) of the post-Maria (and Irma) recovery dollars funded by FEMA for 2017. Most of that money – about 81% – went towards debris removal and other emergency response measures. Road and utility repairs remain undone.
Navigating assistance processes
Disaster assistance may be available in various forms and from different sources. People will need help navigating a complicated assistance process, particularly undocumented people and people whose first language is not English.
During Hurricane Maria five years ago, many residents of Puerto Rico evacuated to the mainland to access family support but found that government support was not as easy to access once away from the island.
The CDP Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund is now a perpetual fund, allowing CDP the most flexibility to respond to philanthropic and humanitarian needs as they arise. You can donate to the fund to support recovery.
(Photo: Flooding from Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. Credit: CBP AMO Regional Director SE via Twitter)
If you are a responding NGO or a donor, please send updates on how you are working on recovery from this disaster to Tanya Gulliver-Garcia.
We welcome the republication of our content. Please credit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
If you are a donor looking for recommendations on how to help with disaster recovery, please email Regine A. Webster.
More ways to help
You can also donate to support medium- and long-term recovery in communities affected by this disaster directly through Google, which has launched a fund in partnership with CDP. Just search Hurricane Fiona and click “Yes, Donate.” Learn more about our partnership with Google and how we are working together to provide donors worldwide the opportunity to be responsive and effective with their disaster giving.
As with most disasters, disaster experts recommend cash donations, which enable on-the-ground agencies to direct funds to the greatest area of need, support economic recovery and ensure donation management does not detract from disaster recovery needs.
CDP has also created a list of suggestions for foundations to consider related to disaster giving. These include:
- Take the long view: Even while focusing on immediate needs, remember that it will take some time for the full range of needs to emerge. Be patient in planning for disaster funding. Recovery will take a long time, and funding will be needed throughout.
- Recognize there are places private philanthropy can help that government agencies might not: Private funders have opportunities to develop innovative solutions to help prevent or mitigate future disasters that the government cannot execute.
- All funders are disaster philanthropists: Even if your organization does not work in a particular geographic area or fund immediate relief efforts, you can look for ways to tie disaster funding into your existing mission. If you focus on education, health, children or vulnerable populations, disasters present prime opportunities for funding.
- Ask the experts: If you are considering supporting an organization that is positioned to work in an affected area, do some research. CDP, National VOAD and InterAction can provide resources and guidance about organizations working in affected communities. The Council on Foundations provides resources for community foundations, and information about funding disasters in a variety of locations.
Philanthropic and government support
President Biden originally issued an emergency declaration (EM-3583) for Puerto Rico providing public assistance only in Category B (Emergency Protective Measures). On Wed., Sept. 21, the Biden administration approved Governor Pierluisi’s request for a major disaster declaration (DR-4671). This provides public assistance in all categories (A-G) for all communities in Puerto Rico. Individual assistance has been approved for 77 municipalities in Puerto Rico.
The Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico and has sent medical response teams.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron recognized a state of natural disaster for Guadeloupe and opened a special relief fund.
In Canada, the Government of Canada has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to match all donations to the Hurricane Fiona in Canada Appeal until at least Oct. 25. In addition, the federal and provincial governments will support people and businesses who did not have sufficient insurance or were considered to be uninsurable by insurance companies.
In 2020, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy removed the “annual” designation from its Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund to allow a broader focus on the full spectrum of the disaster cycle.
The following are examples of grants awarded through this fund:
- CDP awarded $50,000 to Culture Aid NOLA in 2022 to support “July Supply,” an event aimed at preparing the families of New Orleans for the coming most-active months of the season hurricane season.
- SBP received a $150,000 grant in 2021 to support their SHARE program and serve at least nine vulnerable families in southwest Louisiana by rebuilding homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Laura and Sally, thus shrinking the time between disaster and their recovery. SBP will leverage CDP’s support against other funding sources and community resources to serve families through its rebuilding program and SHARE grant program administered by SBP that distributes per-project gap funding to nonprofit rebuilding partners active in the area. The Fuller Center for Housing and All Hands and Hearts received $50,000 each from SBP via this grant to support their work. SBP will be implementing its SHARE program again in response to Hurricane Ida.
- GER3 (Global Emergency Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction) received a $50,000 grant in partnership with Google to provide critical recovery services to highly vulnerable and severely affected communities in the North Zone of Honduras following Hurricanes Eta and Iota, with potential transition into reconstruction efforts. With the aim of removing debris and cleaning 200+ structures across two communities, the community-led project approach will integrate local team members and cash-for-work opportunities while focusing on building back better, increasing sustainability and resiliency.
Hurricanes, Typhoons and Cyclones
Hurricanes, also called typhoons or cyclones, bring a triple threat: high winds, floods and possible tornadoes. But there’s another “triple” in play: they’re getting stronger, affecting larger stretches of coastline and more Americans are moving into hurricane-prone areas.
Each natural disaster reminds us of the value of insurance to protect our homes and businesses. But with the news filled with stories about homeowners still waiting to settle claims, or insurance covering less damage than expected, what is the role of private insurance in disaster recovery?
When a disaster strikes, a crisis communications plan that uses the six pillars of crisis communications will allow staff to communicate clearly, concisely and in ways that match your organization’s and community’s needs.