USVI Was Decimated During Hurricane Irma & Maria

Now more than ever we need help from people around the world. We're asking for donations to help rebuild St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and St. Martin, after the wake of Irma's destructive path. As a Category 5 Hurricane, Irma was one of the most devastating hurricanes of all time. Shortly after, the same region was faced with a second hurricane, Hurricane Maria, causing even more destruction. Please spend 5 minutes donating to help rebuild our beloved U.S. Virgin Islands. All donations will go to the American Red Cross and other local 501(c)(3) charities.

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Hurricane Relief Artwork

The limited edition artwork is no longer available. Explorevirginislands.com and What’s Going On St. Thomas teamed up with designer / illustrator (and St. Thomas Native) Alex Asfour, from IdeaStorm Studios to help sell a limited edition St. Thomas Poster to help with the relief efforts of Hurricane Irma & Maria. Thank you to everyone who donated, we are thrilled with the response & donations that have been collected in just a week! 100% of the proceeds from the sales of the poster will go to local charities.

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  • Situation Update
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INFORMATION UPDATE
September 25, 2017 at 10:00 AM ET

Hurricane Maria Situation Update

In Puerto Rico, officials are attempting to evacuate nearly 70,000 people downstream from the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico as the dam has begun to show signs that it is going to fail. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicate that the dam was built in 1928, and it holds about 11 billion gallons of water.

The entire island has been declared a federal disaster zone. Additionally, the Governor of Puerto Rico is reporting that the death toll is now up to 21, and expects the number to climb. Nearly 1,360 of the island’s 1,600 cell towers have been knocked down, and 85% of all phone and internet cables have been knocked out. FEMA is distributing 250 satellite phones to mayors to re-establish communications with areas that have been completely cut off since Maria, made landfall and they are flying in other supplies to assist with operations on the ground. There is also an immediate concern to get fuel to hospitals that are running on generator power.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the National Guard continues to enforce a curfew that has now been modified to be from 6 pm until Noon daily.

Hurricane Maria Domestic Red Cross Response

The American Red Cross has launched a multi-island relief effort with government officials and disaster partners to help people impacted by Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We have had employees and volunteers on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since before Hurricane Irma made landfall. We are beginning service delivery as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are mobilizing volunteers and relief supplies to help those in need. While getting relief materials to the islands is difficult, we are working with our federal, corporate and community partners to send supplies to the region by both sea and air soon.

The Red Cross will be deploying relief supplies such as water, rice, beans, ready-to-eat meals, cleanup kits, home repair kits, tarps, trash bags, insect repellant, hand sanitizer, work gloves and more.

Given that communication is almost impossible with cell service interrupted, we are shipping in satellite phones and other technology supplies to help.

On Puerto Rico, shelters are managed by the government, but the Red Cross is preparing to support sheltering efforts if needed.

On the U.S. Virgin Islands, Red Cross workers will continue to operate and support emergency shelters.

Officials estimate that emergency shelters and food support will be needed by a large portion of the population in both territories for weeks. The Red Cross will continue to be on the ground working with dozens of disaster partners like the Salvation Army and Save the Children to support feeding, child care, disaster assessment and other services to help affected communities.

Red Cross Hurricanes Maria and Irma Combined Response Update 

Overnight, more than12,300 people were provided refuge in 197 government and Red Cross shelters across Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for both Hurricanes Irma and Maria. This includes:

  • In Florida, more than 1,000 people in 17 emergency shelters.
  • On the U.S. Virgin Islands, more than 470 people in 7 evacuation shelters.
  • In Puerto Rico, 10,700 people in 173 government evacuation shelters.

To date, evacuation centers have provided more than half a million (592,000) overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go.

Along with our partners, we have served nearly 990,000 meals and snacks across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

We’ve distributed more than 219,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 21,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected across six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More than 2,400 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma and Maria now, with 380 additional volunteers on the way. This includes nearly 180 Red Crossers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More than 140 emergency response vehicles are helping to deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest hit areas in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Hurricane Maria International Red Cross Response

Maria’s landfall on Caribbean islands already devastated by Irma is making it difficult to deploy supplies and people. The International Federation of the Red Cross is working with government and relief agencies, along with Red Cross Societies from around the world to provide support as quickly as possible to where it is most needed. The American Red Cross has played a role in this international response:

The American Red Cross has committed $100,000 to assist in meeting the immediate needs of those affected.

The American Red Cross is deploying three disaster response specialists to Dominica as part of an international response to support the Dominica Red Cross. They will set up IT-telecoms systems for the response, provide information management support for assessments and coordination, and help develop a plan for potential cash grant distributions when possible.

The Red Cross societies across the Caribbean are focused on meeting the immediate needs in their territories. These needs include search and rescue, the distribution of vital relief supplies, and damage and needs assessments as well as steps to reduce the risk of epidemic outbreaks.

















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