Posted by Dan Crawford on Dec 08, 2019
I am a Rotarian in the Coeur d’ Alene Idaho Club and was recently deployed to the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian with Disaster Aid USA. Disaster Aid USA began as a Club project in Maryland and has grown into a worldwide disaster relief organization.
Disaster Aid USA is partnered and supported by Rotarians, Rotary Clubs, church groups, businesses, and communities around the US. Internationally, Disaster Aid USA partners with Disaster Aid Canada, Australia, UK, and Brazil. Domestically DAUSA has been deployed to hurricanes , floods, fires, and tornados all across the US.
While deployed in the Bahamas I was part of an assessment team which went there to establish the needs for temporary housing and water filtration. While there we were able to provide temporary housing for up to 800 evacuees from Abbaco Island and Grand Bahama Island - the hardest hit areas by the hurricane. In addition we were able to provide 40,000 gallons of clean drinking water per day through the distribution of water filtration systems.
This was very much a team effort. We not only had amazing support from the local Rotarians of districts 7020 and 6990 but our international partners as well. As with any organization, funds are needed to fulfill the mission of providing shelter and water in times of disaster. I cannot thank enough our partners in the UK and Australia for their fund raising efforts and a huge debt of gratitude to Disaster Aid of Canada for providing much needed tents, bedding, and hygiene supplies. And to my club in Coeur d’ Alene for raising $7,700 toward the relief effort.
All in all it was an amazing and humbling personal experience for me. I got to see first- hand the true meaning of “service above self” shine through in all the Rotarian volunteers, some had lost homes or had other damage done and all had friends or loved ones that were impacted by the hurricane but yet they came out to help their fellow man in time of need.