Situation Report: Hurricane Dorian

September 9, 2019


Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday, September 1 as a Category 5, the strongest level of hurricane. The storm moved historically slowly, leaving widespread devastation in its wake. The official death toll in the Bahamas is 44, but as The New York Times reported yesterday, “The extent of the damage …in the Abaco Islands is so great, the work of assessing it so arduous and the Bahamian government so overwhelmed that a full accounting of the missing and dead may not be known for weeks or even months.”

After finally leaving the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian slowly moved towards the United States and then up the coast before making landfall in North Carolina on September 6. The storm’s winds, rain and resulting tornadoes caused significant damage in coastal areas, flooding roads and knocking out power for tens of thousands of people. Many of the people affected by Hurricane Dorian were also affected by Hurricane Florence last year. See photos of Hurricane Dorian’s damage in North Carolina here.

CWS Response

In the Bahamas, CWS is responding alongside our ACT Alliance and other partners. The ACT Alliance is a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy. We are deploying staff as part of an ACT Alliance Rapid Support Team to assess the needs and determine a response strategy. Our response will likely focus on mid- and long-term recovery efforts.

In the United States, we are engaged in an immediate response by shipping CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, School Kits, Hygiene Kits and Blankets to affected areas in North Carolina. Once we have damage assessments from North Carolina, we will work with Long-Term Recovery Groups and other organizations to help meet the unmet needs of their communities, with a focus on vulnerable migrant or refugee populations.

How to Help

Donations to CWS hurricane response efforts can be made online at, sent to your denomination or sent to CWS (P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515). When sending a check to CWS, please designate 628-J, 2019 Hurricane Response.

Visit to learn more about assembling or donating CWS Kits.