The Cayman Islands Red Cross has started a Hurricane Irma appeal to help those in the region affected by the storm.
“We really don’t know the extent of the damage as full assessments haven’t been conducted yet, but based on what we have seen and heard, Irma has been catastrophic for several nations,” Director Jondo Obi said in a press release. “The Anguilla Red Cross has lost its headquarters, and as has now been widely reported, the island of Barbuda has basically been declared uninhabitable.
The Red Cross appeal is strictly for monetary donations, and the organization urged residents not to make arrangements to send supplies to the affected areas.
Red Cross deputy director Carolina Ferreira said, “The items that most people would like to donate, like clothing, shoes, household items and toys, are not a priority in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe, and when they arrive into affected areas they create numerous problems for workers on the ground.”
Keith Ford, disaster manager for the Cayman Islands Red Cross, said money collected in Cayman goes directly to the most affected areas as part of the larger appeal by the British Red Cross and the International Federation.
Donations can be made by direct deposit to Bank of Butterfield account 1360350540060 or at the Red Cross Corporate Centre office on 27 Hospital Road, first floor. For more information, contact 916-3345 or [email protected]
Meanwhile, Governor Helen Kilpatrick and Premier Alden McLaughlin held a disaster management meeting with Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the National Weather Service Wednesday to discuss how to deliver a coordinated aid response to territories affected by Irma.
“The Governor’s Office is in direct contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices crisis response unit in London. This is to ensure a calibrated relief effort from the Cayman Islands through that agency,” a statement issued by government said.
“The estimated damage is likely to run into the millions of dollars. In view of this, the public is asked not to collect aid supplies in a bid to avoid duplication of effort. Further details as to what aid is needed, and how to donate, will be issued in due course,” the statement continued.