Preparing for Hurricane Season During COVID-19

The WASH Foundation gears up for 2020 hurricane season with COVID-19 in mind.

June 1st marks the start of the official hurricane season in the North Atlantic, and according to the NOAA forecast, the 2020 season is shaping up to be a very active one, with up to 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. 

That’s significantly above average and would be concerning on any year – but amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this forecast is even more alarming.  Vulnerable populations are now even more at risk as resource stockpiles have been depleted, jobs and incomes have vanished, governments and aid groups have exhausted financial reserves, and organizations of all types have scaled back operations.  More people are on the brink of poverty and lack access to the supplies and resources they need to prepare for the potentially deadly hurricane season.  There could be unprecedented need this year.

At The WASH Foundation, we’re stepping up to prepare for hurricane response while also continuing our ongoing relief efforts for COVID-19.  In partnership with the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, we’re stockpiling supplies of soap and hygiene kits at our warehouse in Florida as well as our warehouse in the Dominican Republic so that we can rapidly deploy aid in the event of any storms.  In addition, our teams are on the ground in the Caribbean now, and in July we’ll launch our WASH emergency preparedness programming to help families in vulnerable communities prepare for any potential storms by stockpiling clean water and hygiene supplies, having emergency kits and plans on hand, and practicing proper WASH behaviors to stay healthy and safe during and after a disaster.  By August, over 500,000 hygiene items will be stockpiled in the region, and when fully deployed, our WASH emergency preparedness programming will reach 100,000 people throughout the Caribbean each year. 

We’re committed to doing everything we can to protect those who are most vulnerable to ensure they safely withstand any storms while also staying healthy.  But we can’t do it alone.  We need to raise funds to make this possible.  A donation of just $25 will allow us to serve 100 people through these efforts.  Every gift will go a long way to help improve resiliency and mitigate the effects of any storms this season. 

As always, thanks so much for your support.  Please stay tuned for more updates on our programs and response efforts in the coming weeks and months.

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