Caribbean Hurricanes

Caribbean Hurricanes

Photo: CIRA /

As the world's humanitarian leader, the United States remains committed to providing life- saving assistance when a disaster strikes. The U.S. Government remains in close communication with government and civil-society officials throughout the region to coordinate relief efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria.

How You Can Help

The best way to help those affected by a disaster overseas is to make a monetary donation to a reputable humanitarian organization working in the disaster zone.

As a U.S. government agency, USAID does not accept donations for its crisis response effort. If you wish to donate, you can contribute to the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund at GlobalGiving or to one of the organizations listed below:

Latest Updates

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 7 as Hurricane Irma - the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record – barreled across the Caribbean. Disaster experts on the DART were deployed to the region ahead of the storm, and began immediately coordinating with local authorities and humanitarian organizations in St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda, and The Bahamas to deliver vital humanitarian assistance. Less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit, the region braced for more extreme weather as Hurricane Maria  reached the eastern Caribbean, making landfall over Dominica on September 18. USAID’s DART remains activated and is closely coordinating response activities with local authorities and partners on the ground. Locally-based USAID disaster experts stationed throughout the Caribbean continue to liaise with their local government and emergency management agencies to report on conditions on the ground and advise on humanitarian needs.

October 12, 2017

Humanitarian conditions in Dominica continue to improve. The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GoCD) is prioritizing distributions of food, shelter assistance, and safe drinking water to meet the needs of hurricane-affected people. To improve access and facilitate recovery and reconstruction activities, including the restoration of water supply networks, the GoCD and international stakeholders have also prioritized the removal of storm debris.

October 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, hit the Caribbean beginning on September 6. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Maria, a second Category 5 storm, struck the region. USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 7. The DART—which at its height comprised 54 people—deployed to 11 locations in the Caribbean to lead the U.S. government’s humanitarian response in coordination with affected governments.

October 6, 2017

On October 5, the USAID Caribbean Hurricanes Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) delivered an additional 150 rolls of plastic sheeting, as well as water containers, to support storm-affected Dominicans. On October 3, the DART delivered an additional 160 plastic sheets and 100 blankets to Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GoCD) officials for onward distribution to Jimmitt, Dominica.

October 4, 2017

On the night of September 18, Hurricane Maria struck the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm. Maria’s relentless rains and winds devastated the country, killing at least 27 people and affecting all 71,000 island residents.

Within days of Maria’s passage, members of USAID’s Caribbean Hurricanes Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)— originally activated for early September’s Hurricane Irma—arrived in Dominica to assess conditions. Noting the critical need for materials to repair roofs, the DART quickly mobilized an initial 400 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting, sufficient to assist up to 20,000 people, from USAID stockpiles in Miami, Florida.

October 4, 2017

Overall, the humanitarian situation in Dominica has improved, with a gradual restoration of road access, as well as electricity and water supplies, according to the UN and other relief organizations. While humanitarian response efforts continue, the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GoCD) and other stakeholders are beginning to shift their focus to early recovery.