2017 Hurricanes: Response and Recovery

Episcopal Relief & Development and church partners in the US and the Caribbean continue to work together to support relief and recovery efforts following the devastating hurricanes of 2017.


The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season emerged as the most destructive in recent history with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria causing unprecedented destruction throughout Florida, Texas, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other parts of the US and Caribbean.

Episcopal Relief & Development and church partners in the US and Caribbean continue to respond to urgent needs of those impacted by the storms while developing ongoing plans to assist in long-term recovery. This ongoing support helps those most impacted by the hurricanes, particularly vulnerable children and families, homeless and undocumented people and migrant workers. Homes, businesses and infrastructures require rebuilding. Power issues and other challenges remain in affected areas.

During the initial relief phase, critical food, water and emergency supplies were distributed to thousands in the affected regions. As relief and short-term recovery phases unfold, residents in many locations have received housing assistance, medical supplies, gas for transportation and gift cards to purchase what they need and to help support the local economy. Our staff and partners are working to address and assess needs in affected communities.

Episcopal Relief & Development is still there, working with our church partners as we help people and communities recover in the weeks, months and years to come.


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5bc5ebab6d447aa04a66588b61dd9dac Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on the island of Puerto Rico, knocking out power to the entire island and leaving thousands homeless and without critical food and water. The storm destroyed many homes and buildings and severely damaged more than 75% of crops and agriculture on the island. The cost to rebuild is estimated at $95 billion. Episcopal Relief & Development is accompanying the Diocese of Puerto Rico as it continues to assist in the distribution of supplies and to strategize the next phases of the response. Read more >>



BVI Convoy of Hope The Virgin Islands

Hurricanes Maria and Irma hit the islands two weeks apart, leveling homes, buildings and trees in the US and British Virgin Islands. The local economy, which relies heavily on tourism, was devastated by the storms. Episcopal Relief & Development sent emergency support to the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands and Convoy of Hope after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma and in advance of Hurricane Maria. Read more >>


Texas Louis Ramirez Texas 

Hurricane Harvey, the first major storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season, made landfall in Texas on August 25 as the most powerful storm in the state in more than 50 years, with record-setting rainfall and flooding. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster team is working with the Episcopal Dioceses of Texas and West Texas to map out a long-term recovery strategy as the dioceses discern how the local churches can best use their gifts to meet community needs. Read more>>


Florida St. Alban's Florida

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, struck Florida in early September, leaving homes in the Florida Keys underwater before moving to the mainland, damaging and destroying homes and buildings throughout affected areas. Damage is estimated at $65 billion. During and after the hurricane, several of the impacted dioceses utilized AlertMedia, an emergency communication platform, to connect with clergy and congregational leaders to share key news and information and verify their safety.

Episcopal Relief & Development provided emergency assistance to affected dioceses in Florida and Georgia immediately after the storm hit. Emergency assistance included food and water, hygiene items, bedding and other critical items. The US Disaster team has been in regular contact with diocesan partners to assess and respond to ongoing needs. Read more >>



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