Browsing Category: Disaster Services

Convoy Delivers Relief to Community Devastated by Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian was the most powerful hurricane to ever strike the Bahamas. It hovered over the Abaco Islands for days; the sheer force of its 200-mph winds crumpled cars, smashed homes, and knocked down trees all over the islands. Floodwaters rose so quickly that they trapped many residents on top of their houses.

Avis was one of the many residents who chose to stay and ride out the storm. “It was horrible,” she remembers. “We had a lot of praying ladies here. We had people who prayed and sang songs. And I guess it worked, because we’re here.”

When the storm finally passed, she emerged to find her community completely destroyed. In many of the affected areas, access to a grocery store, electricity, or even water is still not a reality. In lesser affected areas, some businesses are just now beginning to open up. Many were without access to grocery stores, electricity, or cell service.

“We have about 200 people here, and very little food,” says Avis. “We have to really work hard to get some food from the grocery store that’s destroyed to feed everybody for the next two or three days.”Convoy of Hope arrived in Avis’ community with thousands of pounds of food, water, and other relief supplies a few days after the storm. The supplies that Convoy provided were welcomed with gratitude and tears.

“We’re getting everything,” says Avis. “And I really want to say I appreciate, and I feel the love, especially from my friends all over the world. We’re surviving. We’re survivors.”

To date, Convoy of Hope is working with more than 50 community hubs for distribution. We’ve delivered supplies by airplane and purchased local goods in Nassau. Convoy of Hope partners in Florida are providing vital resources to many Bahamians who evacuated to the United States. They are working with our teams to fulfill needs with product located in our Florida warehouse.
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Disaster Services / News

Convoy of Hope’s trained volunteers are paving the way for a response to Dorian

After a close brush with Hurricane Irma, a group of passionate Floridians reached out to Convoy of Hope for help. Their community had been spared the brunt of the storm, but their drive to help survivors was galvanized. What they wanted from Convoy of Hope was not food or flood buckets. They wanted knowledge.

Within a short time, Convoy of Hope staff had trained 25 individuals in how to respond to local emergencies and disasters. Whether it was helping a neighbor when their house burned down or preparing for a major disaster like Hurricane Dorian, these individuals wanted to make sure that would be prepared should the worst happen.

At the training, Convoy of Hope staff instructed courses on disaster preparedness, assessing damage, relief distribution, and the cleanup processes. In addition to instruction about directly responding to disasters, attendees learned how to reach out to their local governments so they would be included in the master response plan for their area.

When it was announced that Florida would be directly in the path of Hurricane Dorian, members of this group of trained responders reached out to Convoy of Hope. On Saturday, a truck of supplies will be delivered to help resource first responders and to have immediate supplies for them to distribute to those affected by the storm.

Training a network of volunteers is a vital part of Convoy’s master plan of equipping local communities — not only with product and knowledge of our staff, but with the ability to care for their community when Convoy of Hope is not present.

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Disaster Services

A Nation in Mourning: Convoy of Hope’s 9/11 Response

When the first plane flew into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, time seemed to stop. We as a nation held our breath at the horror of what we were witnessing. 

What followed was days, weeks, and months of confusion and heartache as we in the United States figured out how to move forward. People from across the world stepped up to help, and Convoy of Hope was no exception. 

At the time, Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team was brand new. We’d responded to a few smaller hurricanes, but nothing with the impact we saw after the September 11 attacks. Regardless, Convoy of Hope’s first truckload of relief supplies left the World Distribution Center for the East Coast within 24 hours of the attack. 

When we arrived, we found a city in shock. 

“There were probably three weeks where you could hear a pin drop in New York City,” former Convoy of Hope employee Mike Ennis said. “I’ve never seen the city that way before or since.”

Our immediate response focused on assisting emergency workers at Ground Zero and the Pentagon. In New York, Convoy of Hope assisted a Staten Island respite center that supported more than 400 firefighters, rescue workers, and national guardsmen for four months. We also provided hot meals, supplies, shower facilities, and beds for those working long shifts at Ground Zero. It was a haven of peace, order, and love for the men and women facing indescribable scenes day after day. 

In the long term, we partnered with several key groups in New York to plan what we called “Encouragement Events” — both large and small gatherings that focused on rescue workers and families who lost loved ones. We also wanted to bring hope to the average New Yorker still struggling with what happened but wouldn’t be included on an official list of “victims.” The need for massive counseling and peer support systems was very clear. 

Thankfully, because of the connections we made during that chaotic time, we’ve been able to serve the New York area in many ways, which includes our response after Superstorm Sandy and through Hope Days

September 11 was a defining moment in Convoy’s 25 years that has shaped us into the organization we are today. That dark time taught us that — even in the worst of times — hope, compassion, and kindness can still make all the difference. 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Disaster Services