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.)
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:
At least 42 people have died in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia as a result of Hurricane Florence. Two of those deaths were mental health patients being transported in a police van. Though the storm itself has passed there is still widespread flooding, record water levels, and many rivers yet to crest or are expected to crest a second time. Evacuees are being told not to return yet and in some places emergency responders are still telling people to prepare to evacuate if necessary. Farms in the region, including pigs, chickens, cotton, tobacco, and peanuts have suffered extreme damage. Many pig waste lagoons have overflowed into the flood waters bringing concerns of widespread health issues.
Over 100 are dead in the Philippines, including 40 gold miners whose died when when their structure was swept away in a landslide. This number is expected to rise, with dozens still missing. Environmental activists are linking illegal mining to increased danger from landslides in the region.
Mangkhut weakened after passing the Philippines, but still had a massive impact in Hong Kong, Macau, and southern China. Hong Kong received a direct hit with the storm surge bringing water levels to record heights. In China's southern province of Guangdong, where 3 million people were evacuated ahead of the storm, there are 4 reported deaths.
Thank you for being #HumanismAtWork.