Domestic Disaster Response & Preparedness
Photo: Craig Thompson, Disciple Design
Earthquakes, Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Imelda, Texas
Hurricane Dorian, Bahamas and Atlantic Coast
Flooding, Oklahoma and Midwest US
Hurricane Michael, Florida
Hurricane Florence, North Carolina
Carr Fire and Camp Fire, California
Hurricanes Irma & Maria, Puerto Rico
Hurricane Irma, Florida
Hurricane Harvey, Texas
Week of Compassion is in conversation with local churches and partners in these areas where disasters are ongoing or have recently occurred. As needs are emerging, we are assessing potential avenues for response.
In early September, 2017 Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, including the US Territory of Puerto Rico. Just 2 weeks later, another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on the main island of Puerto Rico. The two storms demolished much of the infrastructure on the island, leaving nearly the entire population without access to power or clean water. Additionally, the storms destroyed several hundred thousand homes and caused thousands of deaths.
The commonwealth has a population of nearly 3.4 million people, but for several years has been experiencing dramatic migration away from the island, due in large part to a prolonged economic crisis. The hurricanes led to a mass exodus from the island, to the US Mainland.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, TX. Over the next week, the storm stalled over southeast Texas, producing unprecedented rainfall and catastrophic flooding across 41 counties. Nearly 1 million households were directly affected. One year after the storm, 30% of people who were impacted by the storm reported their lives were still disrupted, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Episcopal Health Foundation, 15% of the homes damaged or destroyed by the storm were still unlivable as of the one year anniversary.