Posted by Gerry Beltgens on Oct 21, 2019
Disaster Aid Canada and the 2019 Bahamas Relief Effort 
 
When the call came from the Bahamas to send aid, Disaster Aid Canada sent 101 tents, 300 bed packs and over 15,000 hygiene items, virtually clearing out our inventory. To stay ahead of the next disaster we need to restock supplies. Money raised now pays to replace the inventory that was sent to the Bahamas and helps prepare us for the next emergency. 
 

 
   
On September 1, 2019 Hurricane Dorian descended on the Bahamas and proceeded to devastate a large section of the Northern Islands. The storm made landfall In the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahamas and stayed over the Islands as a category 5 storm for 3 days. An estimated 13,000 homes were destroyed or severely damaged, 70 confirmed dead with 400 still missing. Damage is in excess of 9 billion dollars Canadian.
 
Past President of Rotary International Barry Rassen who lives in the Bahamas, asked Disaster Aid International (DAI) to participate in the relief efforts. Rassen was also involved in approving Disaster Aid International as an official Rotary International Collaborating Organisation this year. 
 
Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) worked closely with DAUSA and Rotary Clubs in the Bahamas to find out what was required and to address those needs. DAC was asked to provide Tents, Bedpacks and hygiene products. With the support of Soap for Hope we were able to make contact with Disaster Aid International and regional organisations coordinate our efforts. We already had 50 tents located in the Bahamas from the previous hurricane in 2017. They were being set up within days of the storms impact. We stayed in touch via email and on top of the situation via the Facebook pages of Rotary Clubs in the Bahamas. 
 
During this period we received a comment on our Facebook site from Julie Brand, originally from Ladysmith, BC.
I grew up in Ladysmith and now live on Grand Bahama. The tents sent by you were greatly appreciated by the people of High Rock as they try to rebuild their homes and community. My students, fellow teachers and parents delivered and set up the tents for many families today and over the last week. Thank you!!!!
 
Once the team at DAC knew what was needed we contacted UPS and they donated the transportation of 11 pallets of materials to Florida. Disaster Aid USA arranged transport from Florida to distribution points in Nassau. Soon 101 more Disaster Aid Canada tents were on the ground, our bed packs were being used and our hygiene products helped along with the water purification systems set up by Rotarians. Rotary Clubs in the Bahamas were working with Disaster Aid Response Teams and were helping put up our shelters and handing out materials. 
Some of the tents were used to provide shelter for evacuees, some of the tents were provided to families who were rebuilding their homes and needed a place to stay during reconstruction. 
 
The strength of Disaster Aid Canada is our ability to tailor our response to the need of the affected community. If our standard Disaster Relief Kit is not the answer we can package and send tents by themselves or send water filtration kits with buckets or solar powered lights with USB ports for charging phone or hygiene and bedding kits or any combination of the above. By partnering with the other Disaster Aid International organisations we have tremendous flexibility to address the needs of the people affected. By partnering with local Rotary Clubs we have the local knowledge and trustworthy partners on the ground.
 
When the call came from the Bahamas to send aid, Disaster Aid Canada sent 101 tents, 300 bed packs and over 15,000 hygiene items, virtually clearing out our inventory. To stay ahead of the next disaster we need to restock supplies. Money raised now pays to replace the inventory that was sent to the Bahamas and helps prepare us for the next emergency. 
 
Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) is a member of Disaster Aid International and an official ‚ÄúCollaborating Organisation‚ÄĚ of Rotary International. Disaster Aid Canada was founded by Rotarians in Ladysmith in 2010. Almost all of the people involved in Disaster Aid International are members of Rotary Clubs around the world.
 
The mission of Disaster Aid Canada is to provide and assist in delivering humanitarian aid, shelter, sustainable water systems and hygiene products to people affected by natural and other disasters; or with compelling local needs. 
Those local needs can include but are not limited to earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and wildfires in Canada. DAC is a Canadian registered charity and can provide tax receipts for donations.
 
Contact: Gerry Beltgens
Executive Director, Disaster Aid Canada
Rotary Club of Ladysmith
gbeltgens@gmail.com
https://disasteraid.ca
Direct Line: 250-739-3887
Charity Reg #: 896568417RR0001