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Old 13-09-2019, 08:53   #76
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

We have good friends who live on Green Turtle Cay and have lost their restaurant/bar and severe damage to their home. I heard from them this morning. They said USA relief efforts have been wonderful to date. I offered our services to help clean up and rebuild but said we would have to find a means to get there since we lost our cabin cruiser in an accident in Canada in July. She indicated there is no water, electric, sewage or places to stay. I did tell her it is a long standing offer for the future. If a group is organized to go with open spots to stay on a boat we would jump in in a heartbeat.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:07   #77
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

I work in the institutional side of international cooperation. I want to help, but first I want to define this problem, so that the solution I offer will make sense.

I think that you are running into one of the most frustrating components of disaster relief, which is generally characterized as readiness. The poster who described bringing supplies to the island, just to be informed that he would need to pay an import levy, is a perfect case study in the problem:

(1) The government is wiped out, so they aren't in a position to administrate the crush of aid offers. But they know that it's going to cost billions to recover, and they're going to get those funds in any way they are legally allowed to do so.

(2) The sailing community wants to help, and has identified the special criteria that position them to assist in rebuilding efforts, but they don't have an existing relationship with a school, church, neighborhood, or family to focus their efforts. So they need an intermediary to act as project manager.

(3) Relief organizations (i.e., the project managers) are not equipped to onboard thousands of new people into their efforts. Each person needs to be vetted, because volunteers can't just have good intentions and skills. They need to follow directions, commit to projects until completion, use their skills and efforts as directed, and essentially behave like an enthusiastic, unpaid intern who won't be thanked and might even be chastised. They also can't be horrible human beings, because there is a long and dark history of vols being rushed in to disaster zones, later to find that some of them were very bad people using the opportunity to spy, loot, rape, and even kill.

(4) Known unknowns. Why don't aid orgs want help right now? Maybe it's because there's not enough infrastructure (water, power, supply chains) to operate with the population they already have, and the influx of hundreds of outsiders is more of a burden than a blessing at this point.

So what should this community do?

I can help by *trying* to find the right contact to help you organize your efforts. Odd as this may sound, it could be someone in the Pentagon.

But before I contribute in my way--by spending my time on hours of desk research and phone calls to my network--I need to know if this is really what the Sailing Community wants. All the sailors I know are deeply committed to doing what they want, when they want (more or less).

Alternately, Palarran, you may want to organize this effort in a more direct way, by polling the community to find if anybody has a personal relationship with a family, pastor, teacher, business owner, etc. on the island. Then use that connection to negotiate a specific offer of assistance to rebuild a specific home, church, school, or business with the consent and agreement at the individual level.

Frankly, the latter is the better approach. I can help with that, too--at least to the extent that I can guide you through the considerations and commitments that you will need to make your effort a success.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:23   #78
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dots, harrynorman, and laughter.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:28   #79
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Wow, that's a lot of good input guys. I've been reading quite a bit that is posted about the recovery and where its at right now and maybe heading in the future. IMO, the best options to do recovery work will probably be in the cays, not on the main land. There are so many professional aid organizations lining up to start work on Grand Bahama and Marsh Harbor it will be difficult to fit in - unless you simply want to join their aid organization. Hope Town, GTC, Guana, these are pretty close to getting a plan put together. Which is great. As they start to publish options for volunteers I'll post them here and if anyone else sees something please do so also. Here is one:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/495049037962870/
You have to scroll down to find the post by Ed Stoble.


Gatorman, Good post. It is crazy how many gofundme drives and aid organizations have popped up and out. Donate - Donate - Donate. It's like some of these groups must sit and wait, planning, etc for a disaster to happen then roll out their donation arm. Like you, I'm sure there are some really good ones but I'm going to hold off for now.

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Originally Posted by gatorman49 View Post
My brother has a home on one of the cays in the Abacos affected by Dorian. On his cay, at least, there are more relief supplies than they no what to do with. The current situation is the residents are beat, done in, can't take care of themselves. What they need is labor. Someone to get a tarp on a roof so no more damage is done, someone to start nailing shingles in place. There are virtually no habitable houses on the cays. There is no electricity. In many cases, there is no fuel for generators if you have one. It is pretty dire, especially for the elderly with no air conditioning. One must have a visa to enter the US, many don't, so they can't go there. Nassau is a hell-hole on its best day. There is no room there for refugees. I personally wouldn't give a dime to ANY relief organization. While it may be as honest as the day is long, the Bahamian politicians are generally not. Communications are a problem too. Unfortunately, in the entire Abacos and Grand Bahama there is only one licensed amateur radio operator. Well, you might ask about commercial SSB on sailboats, etc. Friends, virtually all of the boats are on the bottom, literally. If you've been to Green Turtle Cay and seen the large Albury ferry fleet, understand that only one is left. A friend took a boat over to Little Abaco (it is cut off from Great Abaco as the bridge is gone) and then took a look at Green Turtle Cay. He was unable to find gas, anywhere, none at Spanish Cay, etc. If you take a power boat over, make sure you have enough fuel to get back. I'm not even going to talk about Marsh Harbour. That is hell on earth.


So, my suggestion is to pick a place that you are familiar with, show up with a willingness to do manual labor and expect to be shocked beyond belief at the damage.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:34   #80
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Hello Salty Fox. I'm sure anyone who is actually going to donate their time or vessel to this would appreciate any help or direction you can provide. For me right now, I'm going to wait at least until the end of September in order to get a clear picture of what is actually going on. There is no option for me to provide any work until the beginning of December which is a long time off.

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So what should this community do?

I can help by *trying* to find the right contact to help you organize your efforts. Odd as this may sound, it could be someone in the Pentagon.

But before I contribute in my way--by spending my time on hours of desk research and phone calls to my network--I need to know if this is really what the Sailing Community wants. All the sailors I know are deeply committed to doing what they want, when they want (more or less).

Alternately, Palarran, you may want to organize this effort in a more direct way, by polling the community to find if anybody has a personal relationship with a family, pastor, teacher, business owner, etc. on the island. Then use that connection to negotiate a specific offer of assistance to rebuild a specific home, church, school, or business with the consent and agreement at the individual level.

Frankly, the latter is the better approach. I can help with that, too--at least to the extent that I can guide you through the considerations and commitments that you will need to make your effort a success.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:40   #81
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Itís wonderful and it shows the better side of humanity. Unfortunately not many have the wherewithal to accomplish the task , never mind the time itíll take to complete. Might I suggest the funds and manpower needed to accomplish the rebuilding of the devastated islands come from those who most profited off the islands. The airlines and the cruise lines that have reaped profits, the likes of which, many of us couldnít even imagine . Make them donate 20% of the profit they have enjoyed for the last five years and the funds will be used to not only rebuild but improve the facilities we all enjoy. Better hurry before the Chinese move in.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:41   #82
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

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I've been thinking today about how to help the people affected by Hurricane Dorian. Giving money right now helps get some immediate assistance but afterwards they are going to need some long term help rebuilding.

During a phone call with one of my sailing mates, we discussed how we have had a lot of fun over the years sailing, exploring, eating, and drinking. Maybe this year we would spend some time simply working to rebuild something. He liked the idea and said not only would he be there, but his brother who is a retired builder would come also. As the idea started to grow, I thought it might be interesting if we, as a cruising community, organized to really provide some significant help over a longer term.

Once hurricane season is over most likely the urgent need for survival items will be resolved but the rebuilding will be just beginning. A lot of cruisers will also be leaving ports in the US and Canada for the winter migration so what if there was a project we all worked on together in say the Abacos that would help some folks who can't get help otherwise. Like building shelters, cleaning up debris, fixing mechanical things that we have skills to fix, etc. It would be a fantastic feeling to look back years from now and say "Look at that, that's what the cruising community did after Dorian".

Personally, I don't know the Abacos well enough nor have ever really participated in a long term relief process but am willing to help with both time and money if the opportunity allows. It's fun to drink some Sands or Kalik's down in the Exumas but the feeling we could get by working to help others (and then have a beer) would be special. And, if you think about it, we have the perfect set up to do this. We have floating homes with kitchens, watermakers, generators, tools, and dinghies to get around. We don't need hotels and restaurants to provide the labor. And, many of us have extra space that for a period of time would allow extra volunteers to join in the work. Even if everyone passing by did just one week of rebuilding it could make a serious difference.

I'm throwing it out there just to see what you all think. Palarran and her crew will somehow do something but I need to figure out what.
Thank you for your willingness to help Abaco....thank all of you who are responding. Rosanne and I are both cruisers and residents of Abaco. The outpouring of near-term aid has been incredible. I would like to offer a notion here. Your talents and expertise in the professions and skills necessary to stand a community back up are exactly what the mid-term urgent requirements are.
In the coming months, people, businesses, and the government will be inundated with contractors and supplies selling their wares. What Abaco will need are honest, decent people to just advise on rebuilding , ideas on changes that should be made, inclusion of some modern utility distribution capability etc. for example, the very fragile electrical grid was wiped out and now rather than consider underground utilities, we are already accepting the first shipments of poles with which we will rebuild our weather sensitive and fragile grid!!!
The cruisers that I know come with a wealth of knowledge and experience in all such matters and a council of Grey Beards would be invaluable today and in six months.

Mark
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Old 13-09-2019, 10:13   #83
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

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Thank you for your willingness to help Abaco....thank all of you who are responding. Rosanne and I are both cruisers and residents of Abaco. The outpouring of near-term aid has been incredible. I would like to offer a notion here. Your talents and expertise in the professions and skills necessary to stand a community back up are exactly what the mid-term urgent requirements are.
In the coming months, people, businesses, and the government will be inundated with contractors and supplies selling their wares. What Abaco will need are honest, decent people to just advise on rebuilding , ideas on changes that should be made, inclusion of some modern utility distribution capability etc. for example, the very fragile electrical grid was wiped out and now rather than consider underground utilities, we are already accepting the first shipments of poles with which we will rebuild our weather sensitive and fragile grid!!!
The cruisers that I know come with a wealth of knowledge and experience in all such matters and a council of Grey Beards would be invaluable today and in six months.

Mark
Well, thanks for joining the forum and for your first post. I don't have that expertise but would be happy to pour the coffee for the Gray Beards.

It does seem that if you know the power poles are just going to get wiped out again this would be the perfect time to bury the power lines. When I was at West End last they had changed the poles to fiberglass and they really looked beefy.
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Old 13-09-2019, 10:17   #84
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, MarkLott.
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Old 13-09-2019, 10:19   #85
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

My wife and I went through this debate after Irma and Maria when we were in Alabama with our boat and were planning to head south but many of the places we wanted to go were devastated by the hurricanes. With a little research we signed on with a relief organization called All Hands and Hearts at their St. Thomas base and spent a total of 2 months helping home owners and schools get back on their feet by cleaning up their buildings and getting them prepped for rebuilding. The people, young and old, we worked with were amazing and the organization is committed to coming early to a disaster and staying long. They are currently setting up a plan for the Bahamas and are accepting volunteers. You need no special skills to volunteer but special skills are always appreciated. If you would rather donate to them, be assured that 96% of your money goes to direct assistance to disaster victims. I can't recommend All Hands and Hearts enough. If you really want to help this is one organization you can jump into and get your hands dirty or know that your money is being put to good use.
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Old 13-09-2019, 10:30   #86
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

https://www.allhandsandhearts.org/vo...gaAh6jEALw_wcB

I have two cousins that have volunteered for this organization and gave the same type of endorsement as you.

https://sbpusa.org/
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Old 13-09-2019, 12:01   #87
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Count me, and Adventuress and her crew in. Primarily experienced sailors and Burning Man participants, weíre comfortable in adverse conditions, radically self-reliant, and pretty darn handy. David, Iíve sent you our details in an email.

We were planning a trip over New Year and in Jan, but given the circumstances, this feels like the right thing to offer. Of course, it depends on what is needed at the time, so weíre watching what begins to emerge as the relief and reconstruction efforts gather steam.
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Old 13-09-2019, 12:19   #88
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

What happened to my post?
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Old 13-09-2019, 12:25   #89
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

Count Escape Plan in as part-time help when I'm down there! Thanks for expressing a venue for all of us.
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Old 13-09-2019, 12:45   #90
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Re: Bahamas Hurricane Relief by Cruisers

I have been cruising the Abacos and Exumas for the last 11 years... I have a youtube channel and I have currently raised over $3,000 and donating all my proceeds from the youtube channel also, We are planning on taking the boat back there in a few weeks, using the money to load the boat up with supplies. Take a look at a couple of these videos, #1) What we are planning to do https://youtu.be/iNCKLVebiW8 #2) How we flew in hours before the Hurricane and extracted our boat out of the effected area and delivered her to safety in Miami. https://youtu.be/0P30TeFtqRU
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