Caribbean Hurricanes

Caribbean Hurricanes

Photo: CIRA /

As the world's humanitarian leader, the United States remains committed to providing life- saving assistance when a disaster strikes. The U.S. Government remains in close communication with government and civil-society officials throughout the region to coordinate relief efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria.

How You Can Help

The best way to help those affected by a disaster overseas is to make a monetary donation to a reputable humanitarian organization working in the disaster zone.

As a U.S. government agency, USAID does not accept donations for its crisis response effort. If you wish to donate, you can contribute to the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund at GlobalGiving or to one of the organizations listed below:

Latest Updates

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 7 as Hurricane Irma - the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record – barreled across the Caribbean. Disaster experts on the DART were deployed to the region ahead of the storm, and began immediately coordinating with local authorities and humanitarian organizations in St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda, and The Bahamas to deliver vital humanitarian assistance. Less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit, the region braced for more extreme weather as Hurricane Maria  reached the eastern Caribbean, making landfall over Dominica on September 18. USAID’s DART remains activated and is closely coordinating response activities with local authorities and partners on the ground. Locally-based USAID disaster experts stationed throughout the Caribbean continue to liaise with their local government and emergency management agencies to report on conditions on the ground and advise on humanitarian needs.

Last updated: November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017

Approximately 90 percent of the buildings in Dominica were damaged or destroyed due to the effects of Hurricane Maria, according to Pacific Disaster Center estimates. Damaged homes and infrastructure are inhibiting returns to areas of origin, as well as the resumption of livelihood activities across the country, the UN reports.

November 1, 2017

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, hit the Caribbean beginning on September 6. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Maria, a second Category 5 storm, struck the region. USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 7. The DART—which at its height comprised 54 people—deployed to 11 locations in the Caribbean to lead the U.S. government’s humanitarian response in coordination with affected governments.

October 27, 2017

As humanitarian response efforts in Dominica continue and the transition to early recovery begins, UN agencies and NGOs—including USAID/OFDA partners—are coordinating with the GoCD to meet priority humanitarian needs, including access to safe drinking water, emergency food assistance, and shelter support. A field-based USAID regional team, including three USAID/OFDA disaster risk management specialists supporting response coordination at Dominica’s Emergency Operations Center, continues to support relief and early recovery efforts in the region.

October 20, 2017

As Hurricane Maria bore down on Dominica on the night of September 18, Cecil Shillingford, a USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) disaster risk management specialist and life-long Dominican resident, took shelter from the 160-mile-per-hour winds in his home outside the capital city of Roseau.

October 19, 2017

On the night of September 18, Hurricane Maria struck the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a Category 5 storm. Maria’s relentless rains and winds devastated the country, killing at least 27 people and affecting all 71,000 island residents.

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