HURRICANE DORIAN, BAHAMAS
In early September, Hurricane Dorian made landfall over the Bahamas shredding through homes, buildings, and wiping out infrastructure. This Category 5 storm had sustained winds of 200 mph and dumped over 30 inches of rain. The most dangerous force of this storm was the 15-foot storm surge that swept in unexpectedly carrying large objects, snapping trees, and flooding homes. The Bahamian government has released an official death toll of 50, but sources say the numbers could be staggering, with a potential death toll reaching over 1,000 due to so many people reported missing.
The Bahamian people are in desperate need of help and hope. Our teams have established a operations center on the island, and are looking for volunteers who have specific skills in disaster response and medical training. We are here to empower, give hope, be the light, and save lives to build a stronger tomorrow.
DISASTER RESPONSE TRAINING, GUATEMALA
In 2017, Volcan Fuego erupted impacting many families, and leveling entire communities with volcanic ash and lava.
Since 2017, Iris Relief has partnered with Casa de Dios, to provide FEMA Basic CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training at the church facility in Guatemala City. To date, 250 volunteers have been trained to deploy to serve in a disaster zone. Our vision is to partner with members of the community, municipality employees, National Police and members of the Guatemalan Military, to continue training until every Guatemalan is prepared to respond in natural disaster and crisis.
There will be many more trainings to come and we welcome volunteers to join the training to receive education and tools to respond with our Guatemalan family.
DISASTER RESPONSE TRAINING, BELIZE
In 2018, Iris Relief partnered with Kabod International to conduct a FEMA Basic CERT (Community emergency response team) training, in Belize in partnership with Humana People to People Belize (HPPB), a non-governmental organization registered and operating in Belize since 2007, and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). The three organizations are working together to upgrade the Hurricane Plan to a Multi-Hazard Operation Plan and to provide training and supplies to strengthen response to natural disasters in 30 villages in southern Belize. Students have included members of the community, municipality employees, National Police and members of the Belizean Military. We are thankful to also partner with the US Embassy to be a bridge for education and empowerment.
We have also conducted Issue Focused Restoring the Foundations training for chaplaincy, and resiliency.