Maria and Irma Response Updates: Relief Efforts Continue in Caribbean

November 8, 2017 • Florida and the Caribbean

See new photos, videos, and more from our relief work in the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico—and from Florida. Please continue praying for victims of the hurricanes.

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UPDATE: Our DC-8 aircraft continues to bring tons of relief supplies every few days to Puerto Rico. Distributions of heavy-duty shelter plastic, blankets, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies are benefiting thousands of families. We also recently used our helicopter to deliver food kits to scores of families in the remote community of Don Alonso.

“Hurricane Maria didn’t just devastate San Juan but Puerto Rico from one end of the island to the other,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said from San Juan on Oct. 3. “We’re working not just in this city, but across the island….We’re going to be here for a while.”

At a church service on Oct. 15, three young people volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse came and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Distributions continue on Dominica as well. In addition, six nurses have been deployed there by Samaritan’s Purse to help meet some of the island’s critical medical needs. And, on Oct. 6, medical equipment and supplies were flown in along with a four-person surgical team to help care for those with orthopedic needs resulting from Hurricane Maria.

Medical supplies and a surgical team arrived in the Caribbean.

Medical supplies and a surgical team arrived in the Caribbean.

Our teams on the island have also installed four water treatment systems. We will be providing clean drinking water to more than 11,000 people daily, about 20 percent of the population.

On Barbuda, we have established two water treatment systems. We are the only organization providing clean water on the island. We also are in the process of delivering 400 generators to help families recovering after Hurricane Irma. Our teams have distributed heavy-duty shelter plastic to nearly 50 percent of the island’s households. The first church services on Barbuda after Hurricane Irma were held Sunday, Oct. 15. More than 75 people attended, and sang praises to God for this faithfulness.

In total, our DC-8 plane has made more than 30 trips from North Carolina to the Caribbean to bring in personnel and relief supplies related to our Maria and Irma responses. Our DC-3 aircraft has made more than 80 additional flights to support our responses.

Our Ongoing Caribbean Distributions to Date (Nov. 7)

  • Medical services to more than 1,350 people
  • Heavy-duty shelter plastic to more than 73,700 households
  • More than 11,800 hygiene kits
  • Nearly 17,000 blankets
  • More than 1,000 generators
  • More than 2.2 million liters of clean water

Teams Continue to Respond in Florida

  • We’re at work in the Keys, and have completed deployments in Apopka, Ft. Myers, and Naples.
  • More than 3,000 people have volunteered with our work in Florida.
  • We’ve assisted 807 homeowners across four locations.
  • Praise God that 183 people have repented and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

Through Samaritan's Purse water and sanitation projects, clean water is available to residents of Caribbean Islands like Dominica.

Through Samaritan’s Purse water and sanitation projects, clean water is available to residents of Caribbean Islands like Dominica.

Samaritan’s Purse is bringing physical relief and the hope of the Gospel to families in Florida and the Caribbean as they struggle to recover after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

In response to Maria, we now have a disaster assistance response team on both Puerto Rico and Dominica. Emergency relief supplies have been sent to both locations.

After Irma, relief supplies were sent to hard-hit islands of the Caribbean, including St. Martin, Antigua, Barbuda, and the Turks and Caicos.

“My prayers are with the many who have seen their homes and businesses devastated by Irma’s wind and water. They will now be facing an overwhelming clean-up,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “I pray especially for those who have lost loved ones in the storm.”

Via multiple flights by our DC-8 plane, we brought in food, blankets, shelter plastic, hygiene kits, and water purification units. In St. Martin, we also installed equipment to convert seawater into clean drinking water. Our missions have been completed in Turks and Caicos and St. Martin.

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Homes damaged by Hurricane Irma require heavy-duty shelter plastic to protect families from the elements.

Homes damaged by Hurricane Maria require heavy-duty shelter plastic to protect families from the elements.

We are continuing cleanup on Barbuda as residents and churches prepare to rebuild. “We want to make a difference here in Jesus’ Name,” Franklin Graham said while on the island. “This part of the world is going to need a lot of help, and a lot of work. We’re going to have teams down here for months to come.”

In Florida, our volunteers continue working in the Keys. They are chainsawing trees, tarping roofs, and will soon perform mud-outs. We have had two disaster relief units in the Sunshine State thanks to a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse-Canada, one of our international affiliate offices.

Hurricane Irma smashed through the Caribbean as one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storms in recorded history. Then, on Sept. 10, the monster storm ripped through the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm. It made a second landfall on Marco Island, near Naples on the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Maria ripped up Dominica on Sept. 19 at Category 5 speeds and then ravaged Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 monster.

Please join us in praying for people affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Pray that God would provide everything our teams need to bring relief to the Caribbean and that many volunteers would serve in Florida. Please also pray that numerous men, women, and children would come to faith in Jesus Christ.



Follow our feed for some of the latest videos, photos, and updates from our relief efforts after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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Hurricane Relief Samaritan's Purse responds to the urgent needs of families devastated by the wind, rain, and storm surge of catastrophic hurricanes. Whether in the United States or abroad, we come alongside hurting people to bring emergency relief and practical help in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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