Last August, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Houston and the surrounding area and the damage was extraordinary. Then Hurricane Irma hit Florida, the US and British Virgin Islands, and to a lesser degree, Puerto Rico. By the time Hurricane Maria caused such catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico, it was hard to believe so much devastation was possible in so little time. We now know that casualties from Hurricane Maria were grossly under reported, and that Puerto Rico may never return to the way it was before the storm.
Unfortunately, a hurricane season like 2017 is likely to be our new normal. Experts have found that we can now expect heavier rainfall, stronger winds, and more severe flooding with most hurricanes due to climate change. This is exactly what we’re expecting when Florence makes landfall.
For the foreseeable future, we will begin raising funds each year when the first damaging hurricanes begin, and will continue accepting funds through November 15. (Though hurricane season lasts until November 30th, hurricanes rarely form after November 15th. Any funds received after November 15 will be used to support the HDR program’s ongoing expenses.)
Funds will be used for HDR beneficiary grants and/or for the Humanist Disaster Recovery (HDR) program in order to enable volunteer deployments in hurricane-affected areas. As always, FBB’s goal is to maximize donated dollars to be as effective as possible, and potential grantees undergo a thorough vetting process to ensure they are secular, efficient, and fiscally sound.
We as humanists can no longer afford to wait passively for hurricanes to devastate under-resourced communities one-by-one. We must be proactive in our efforts to gather the resources we’ll need to assist with recovery efforts. Your help is needed. We can’t do this without you.
Please give now to our 2018 Hurricane Recovery Appeal to help the communities most in need as quickly as possible during hurricane season.
The hurricanes/typhoons currently being monitored and considered for recovery funding include:
Update, Saturday, September 15 -- At least 5 people have already died and millions are without power as a result of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in Wrightville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday, September 14. Much of North Carolina is experiencing torrential rain and life-threatening flooding.
Florence is expected to stall and dump up to 50 inches in North Carolina through the weekend, and surrounding states may see record rainfall as well. Rescue operations are underway in places like New Bern where hundreds of people were rescued from the rising water Friday. Damages are currently estimated to be between 10 and 60 billion.
Update, Saturday, September 15 -- Typhoon Mangkhut is being called the worst typhoon of the year. On Saturday, September 15, Mangkhut made landfall at Baggao town in Cagayan in the Philippines, where it is known as Typhoon Ompong. At least 14 people have died, 42 landslides have been reported, and power and communication lines are down. The region is an important food producing region in the Philippines and harvest season has just begun. Mangkhut is expected to continue on to hit China’s southern coast and Hong Kong this weekend, where preparations are underway.
NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Hurricane Florence news stories: