Living through Hurricane Dorian

Dear Editor,

The horror and destruction on Abaco and Grand Bahama are beyond description.

Thousands are homeless; unknown numbers of men, women and children as young as newborns have spent nights on both islands trapped in the roofs of homes with no drinking water or food as storm surge turned massive sections of coastal and inland communities into oceans of terror.

This as persons have attempted daring and desperate rescues in Category 5 conditions. The rescues are continuing as I write, even as hurricane conditions on Grand Bahama continue into the third straight day with no lull in Dorian’s onslaught.

The total number of dead and injured on both islands is not yet known, though five deaths and multiple injuries have been confirmed on Abaco.

Do you know what it feels like not to know if your loved ones are dead, alive or injured? This is the reality for untold numbers of persons throughout The Bahamas and abroad right now.

Do you know how it feels to face the fear of death as storm surge threatens to take your life and that of your family?

Professional crisis counseling must be at the forefront of relief efforts as the trauma of this disaster will cause effects that are often unrecognized, untreated and poorly appreciated in our culture. This is critical for the children impacted, as we often ignore the emotional and psychological needs of children and take for granted their pain, suffering and fear.

Airports are destroyed. Hospitals are destroyed. Fresh water supply is compromised. Livelihoods and businesses are destroyed. Entire cities and outlying settlements are destroyed. Economies are destroyed. Public infrastructure is destroyed. Schools are destroyed. This is a disaster of epic proportions.

And while it is true that material things can be replaced, a home is not just a material thing. For most of us, it is an integral part of our life, and when you lose your home the trauma of that is significant. A home is not just brick and mortar.

Pray for Abaco and Grand Bahama — and then DO ALL YOU CAN TO HELP.

God has no hands but your hands and if you do not get up from praying and give of your time, money, resources, clothes, food, supplies, etc., then the people you are praying for will have their suffering prolonged.

I am a Grand Bahamian. I am in a state of shock. But I will survive. Do all you can to ensure others will survive too.

– Sharon Turner

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