Hurricane Irma: Responding to ferocious storms

In 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Irma caused devastation in the Caribbean, then Hurricane Maria brought a new wave of destruction

Whole islands devastated

After suffering the wrath of Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean was pummelled by Hurricane Maria.

The arrival of these Category 5 hurricanes makes this one of the most ferocious hurricane seasons ever recorded.

In the months since the hurricanes hit we delivered aid across six countries, tailoring our response to best support different communities.

Hear more about what happened and how we responded in this video.

Yanira's story

A woman with two children

Yanira, her husband and their two daughters, live in Santiago in the Dominican Republic.

Their house backs onto a river, which flooded during Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Yanira said: ‘The river flooded through the house. It was at least a metre high. The walls cracked, there is a hole in the floor, which you can see the river through underneath.’

Yanira and her family received a shelter kit, containing the materials needed to repair damaged structures and create emergency shelter, such as tarpaulins, tools and fixings. They will stay in their new shelter until they find a house further from the river.

I feel better. I feel safer and more comfortable than what we had before.

How ShelterBox responded

In St Kitts and Nevis and the Dominican Republic, we supported families to rebuild their homes with the help of shelter kits.

Elsewhere in the British Virgin Islands, our tents were the best option – creating a warm safe home while the long clean-up process takes place.

In Dominica and Barbuda, we helped families to return home and begin the rebuilding process.

For families in Barbuda, the process took much longer than other areas as the island was almost completely destroyed after the storms.

Take a look and see how we’ve helped families with their recovery.

See the photos

A man standing in front of a collapsed building

Who have we supported?

We provided aid to over 2,000 families across five islands in the Caribbean. Read their recovery stories here.

Recovery in Dominica after Hurricane Maria

Simon's story

When Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc in Dominica in 2017, it destroyed Simon’s house. Read how we have supported Simon in rebuilding his home and finding comfort once again.