Relief efforts already are underway in the Bahamas, where Hurricane Dorian swirled over the islands for two days and made history as the most powerful storm ever to hit the area. The Category 5 hurricane struck the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama with 185-mph winds and left widespread devastation in its path. Fifty people have so far been confirmed dead, and the toll is expected to rise, according to NBC.
The Island of Great Abaco was left largely inhabitable, with the BBC reporting that there is no running water, no electricity and no food. In total, an estimated 70,000 people have been left homeless in the island chain, according to CNN.
As the true devastation of Hurricane Dorian becomes clear, the need for immediate aid is rising. Here are a few ways you can help.
Make a Donation
Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to provide aid is to donate what you can — whether it be food, money or supplies.
The Islands of The Bahamas lists a number of trusted donation partners on its website, including the National Association of The Bahamas, The Bahamas Red Cross and the Atlantis Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund. Other options include:
• Mission Resolve: This consortium of South Florida businesses and philanthropies is working with the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to provide support. They accept monetary donations as well as water, food, tents, blankets and more. Donation drop-off locations in Florida can be found on the agency's website.
• World Central Kitchen: A nonprofit founded by chef José Andrés, the WCK is providing food to those affected on Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands. It has already served more than 100,000 meals to Hurricane Dorian survivors. Single or monthly donations can be made through the website.
• The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation: As set up by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, all donations to the foundation directly benefit the island of Grand Bahama. Monetary contributions can be made by credit card, bank wire, mail-in check and more. The website also includes directions for donating immediate and long-term relief goods.
• If you are a PayPal user, consider donating to its Hurricane Dorian Relief fund. Users can select from a handful of charities, including the International Medical Corps and Americares Foundation. All transaction fees have been waived, so you can be sure 100 percent of your donation will go directly to the charity of your choosing.
Before you hit the donate button, it’s important to do some research and make sure the organization is reputable and will directly benefit those in need. Charity Navigator can help you sort through the options.
Book a Trip
The Bahamian economy is largely dependent on tourism. While the hotels on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama are closed, this only represents 19 percent of all properties in the Bahamas according to the AP. Other islands that are open and unaffected by Hurricane Dorian include Nassau, Paradise Island, the Exumas and Cat Island.
"One of the best ways that people around the world can show their support and solidarity is to visit our other islands by air or cruise ship," said Bahamian prime minister Hubert Minnis.