Intense, destructive tropical storms are fact of life in the Virgin Islands, but natives and newcomers have come up with ways of responding effectively. When a hurricane makes landfall in the Virgin Islands, it is almost inevitably the most vulnerable who suffer first and most harshly. A group established by Cane Bay Partners called “Cane Bay Cares” has recently led the way in making sure these storm victims would receive the supplies and support they need.
An Energetic, Coordinated Response Produces a Massive Windfall of Much-Needed Supplies
When a fierce hurricane strikes the Virgin Islands, even the basic necessities of life often become unobtainable by many as a result. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated St. Croix in late 2017, Cane Bay Cares responded by immediately amassing and distributing supplies. Before long, more than 50,000 pounds of important assets including the following had been handed out to those who needed them the most:
- Water. There is nothing more fundamental to human life than clean, safe water, and hurricanes regularly disrupt the usual supplies for weeks or months at a time. A single jug of water can keep a whole family from dehydration or worse for days and allow for other important activities along the way. While water is heavy and difficult to transport, it is of such importance that groups like Cane Bay Cares always make it the top priority.
- Food. When hurricanes weep through the Virgin Islands, residents regularly lose access to their usual sources of food for long periods thereafter. Even the most disciplined of people who have been weakened by a lack of nutrition will find it difficult to contribute as much to the recovery effort as they might like. Nonperishable foodstuffs and even fresh supplies have been distributed by the tens of thousands of pounds throughout St. Croix.
- Tarps, freezer packs, solar lights, and more. Beyond these absolute basics, many other types of supplies have made the recovery easier and safer for residents of the Virgin Islands, as well. These extras can individually matter just as much as even a much-needed drink of water might.
A Brighter Future for St. Croix and the Virgin Islands
Dangerous storms will always be a threat in the Virgin Islands, so being ready to respond appropriately is a must. Fortunately, groups like Cane Bay Cares are developing ways of ensuring that no one will ever have to suffer unnecessarily.