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The Worst Natural Disaster in a Country’s History

October 20, 2021

Imagine sitting at your kitchen table, reading a book with your child while waiting for a routine tropical storm to pass over your house outside. You start to hear a rhythmic thumping sound, and then see glimpses of light every few seconds, where the corner of the wall meets the ceiling. You realize quickly that your roof is lifting up and slamming down due to the wind outside - and there is a good chance the storm is going to carry it away.

For Sheena McIntosh and her son, who has special needs, this scene was her reality in the midst of Hurricane Dorian in August of 2019. The category 5 hurricane that swept across the Bahamas is the country’s worst natural disaster in history, with a large number of fatalities and thousands of Bahamians like Sheena enduring major property damage.

During the storm, Sheena knew she and her son were not going to be safe in the house to bear the storm, so they ran to their neighbor’s house adjacent to theirs to take shelter.20 hours later, they went back to their house to find their roof completely gone and everything in the home severely damaged or destroyed.

Destruction after the hurricane in the Bahamas (Al Diaz | Miami Herald via AP)
Destruction after the hurricane in the Bahamas (Al Diaz |Miami Herald via AP)

Sheena was uninsured and widowed, and having a special needs son to care for, she feltlike she was dealing with the storm’s aftermath completely alone. Thankfully, IRT was able to provide support to give Sheena and her son a new roof, one that is stronger and more durable to withstand storms in the future.

“Everything was that roof. After that, everything took off, and that’s how we got back home,” Sheena said.

Sheena and her son going home to their newly roofed house.

 

IRT was able to help repair more than 100 damaged homes in the Bahamas and provide over 5,000tarps for families to have temporary shelters. It is because of generous donations that families like Sheena’s were provided with help after such a devastating storm, and given hope for the future.

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