Empact Northwest's USAR Team has returned from the Bahamas
September 9th - Our teams arrived in the U.S. today, concluding our deployment in The Bahamas. They will return to Seattle tomorrow in two waves. Spirits are high; everyone is feeling happy to return home and satisfied with what Empact accomplished during our time on Abaco. Today we’re thinking of all the Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian. Empact will continue to monitor Dorian’s aftermath and coordinate with our great partners in the Bahamas after returning to Seattle.
September 8th UPDATE -We wrapped up a long day of searching the Sand Banks area of Abaco and delivering aid to local communities. Empact successfully delivered new batteries to the local Fire Department for their rescue truck- the only functional one left after Hurricane Dorian. We hope this will improve the local response capacity as calls for assistance continue to come in. Finally, some good news: we connected with a Florida-based USAR team that will be taking over these operations when we leave Abaco tomorrow!
September 8th - Our teams have been hard at work performing searches in Treasure Cay. They have almost completed search of the area. This morning they are finishing up searching Treasure Cay and are also searching a small shanty town. There are reports of 10-15 missing migrant workers that lived there.
Speaking to the diversity and willingness of our group to take on most any tasks that are asked of them; our team has secured transport of people and supplies to the local clinic in Abaco. As well as assisting the local emergency responders in an attempt to repair the only almost working rescue truck left on the island. All of the apparatus was badly damaged by Dorian. Also, our Asher has been making friends as usual along the way. Heart to Heart's office dog Molly sent him some encouragement to work hard. Both Asher and Packer have been hard at work performing searches, they are some tired pups.
September 6th (2) - Our deployed teams have joined together and we are settled for the night in Treasure Cay. All personnel are in high spirits and ready to get to work! Plan for tomorrow: begin search operations in Treasure Cay and survey the Cooperstown area. We will connect with the local public safety chief to establish our next move based on the greatest needs identified. Thank you all for supporting our work!
September 6th (1) - Our team recently moved to Treasure Cay on Abaco, where we’re establishing a base of operations and working closely with the local Emergency Management Agency in Marsh Harbor. Cooperstown has been completely inaccessible since Hurricane Dorian hit due to large amounts of debris blocking the road. Today Empact has been working with our partners to create access to Cooperstown in order to start Search and Rescue operations.
September 5th -A very generous man has volunteered his jet to get our teams to their destination early tomorrow. And has very graciously looked after them for the night. We cannot accomplish our mission without generous folks like this. We very much appreciate his kindness.
September 4th - Empact is moving a second team into position to respond to Dorian. Departing tonight from Seattle for Nassau, this group is made up of physicians, nurses, paramedics, and rescue specialists; and brings essential medical and rescue aid to the region. This team will bring our total deployed strength to 16 specially trained individuals.
September 2nd - Empact Northwest's Hurricane Dorian Pathfinders team is on the move. Our team is currently gearing up to head out for Nassau, the Bahamas and they'll be catching a flight out of Orlando this evening at 7:15pm local time to reposition. Once in Nassau, the team will be linking up with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and will begin working on getting into Great Abaco Island and Grand Bahama, the two islands hardest hit. The decision to move out of Florida is based on the degree of damage being experienced in the Bahamas, the current storm track projection, the heavy presence of pre-positioned government assets inside the United States, and requests from our governmental and non-profit partners in the Caribbean.
September 1st - Empact's Dorian Pathfinders team is taking advantage of the calm before the storm to solidify local connections and relationships. Our team has spent the day working with local EOC's, response agencies, and nonprofit partner Trek Medics to ensure that everything is in place when Dorian makes landfall. Empact's team is in Orlando, using the centrally located city as a staging point so that they can be ready to move to whatever area is most affected. Empact's DOC continues to monitor to track, speed, and intensity of the storm as it varies wildly throughout the day.
August 30th - Empact Northwest, a Washington State based international nonprofit is deploying a team to Florida in response to Hurricane Dorian. The small group of dedicated volunteers, known as a “Pathfinders” team will deploy this weekend to the Orlando region of Florida in order to provide assessment and immediate assistance in response to the hurricane. This team, made up of 5 individuals with unique specialties will spend 5-7 days in the region and may be followed on by a larger team based on the needs encountered. Empact Northwest has opened it's Deployment Operations Center (DOC) and is actively monitoring Dorian's path and intensity. Dorian is the 4th named Atlantic hurricane of the season.