Bahamas Habitat’s first response pilots are now delivering aid to the parts of Bahamas affected by Hurricane Irene. The organization had its first planes arriving on Friday, Aug. 26, shortly after the storm passed to the north, according to officials.
The group has set up a main depot and coordination post at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). Volunteers and pilots have come in from numerous points in the US and Bahamas. Planes were dispatched to deliver supplies and assess the damage and needs so the organization can direct the next wave of volunteer pilots according to the conditions they find on the ground in the various Out Islands.
“We made our first flights on Friday as soon as it was safe to fly,” said Cameron King, the organization’s Aviation and Disaster Relief Coordinator. “One of our first stops was to Governor’s Harbour on Eleuthera Island to deliver supplies and check on our staff and our base camp there. Though there was damage, we are just all so thankful no one has been injured.”
The organization is reaching out for donations of supplies, additional pilots with aircraft to join in the relief airlift, and online donations to allow the group to buy supplies to fill their volunteer aircraft. They are publishing lists of supplies needed on the website along with their flight missions. They have requested everything from generators to roofing materials to food that does not require much preparation such as pop-top cans and ready to eat items.
The organization maintains an active Hurricane Irene News Feed with photos from their missions. All parties interested in mission updates and volunteering opportunities should sign up on the website for mission update emails. Online donations are requested and can be made by credit card on the website. All donations are tax deductible, officials note.