Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc in the Bahamas on September 1st. While the full impact of this catastrophe remains unknown, the Cayman community has been eager to help.
The Cayman Islands Red Cross launched a monetary donation appeal to support the most vulnerable and this 411 sheet explains some frequently asked questions:
Why money and not items?
• Most items people want to send in the immediate aftermath of a disaster - clothing, shoes, toys - are not priority;
• Unsolicited items create havoc on the ground as organisations do not know they are coming and then have to divert manpower and equipment to collect them and most don’t have where to store them;
• Other items, like bottled water, are bulky and costly to send and only address the problem for a short period of time whereas the better solutions - like water purification systemscan address that problem for a longer period of time. That money would be better invested in those systems than to send the short solution;
• The needs of the affected population change drastically as the response shifts from the emergency stage - funds allow organizations and the affected individuals themselves to better meet those changing needs;
• The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has agreements in place to purchase items in bulk which translates your $1 donation into $7 on the ground;
• The “honeymoon” period following a disaster is short and soon items will begin to incur government fees and storage fees and if organizations can’t afford to pay they forfeit the items.
Will the money raised in Cayman be sent to the American Red Cross?
• No - none of the funds raised for appeals outside of the United States go to or through the American Red Cross
• The Cayman Islands Red Cross is a branch of the British Red Cross and a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross
• The Red Cross Movement is global and originated in Switzerland in 1863 - it does not stem from the American Red Cross
Will the Cayman Islands Red Cross take out any fees from the appeal?
• No - the Cayman Islands Red Cross does not take any fees from the emergency appeal.
• Emergency appeals add to the organisation's work load, but the staff and volunteers have made a decision to make that their contribution to the response.
Can I volunteer myself instead?
• While this is a noble thought, sending untrained and unprepared volunteers into a disaster zone would be irresponsible.
• The IFRC does accept trained volunteers in times of disaster to help on the ground.
• Volunteers must be active in their home countries before they can be deployed.
• The CIRC offers the National Intervention Team (NIT) training for active volunteers who wish to take up leadership roles in the organisation’s Disaster Management Programme.
DONATE TODAY: HURRICANE DORIAN BAHAMAS APPEAL
Butterfield Bank Account #136035054006