On Friday morning, Members of HEART Team 1 / Hatzalah Air/International / Hatzalah of Florida, departed Miami to the Bahamas to assist Chabad of Bahamas in search and rescue.
The crew of Hatzolah volunteers had to travel by boat, and brought with them lots of life-saving equipment, as well as food supplies and water.
After pummeling the islands for two days with winds in excess of 180 miles per hour and rain pouring down by the inches, Dorian moved on. At least 30 people have been reported dead on Grand Bahamas and Abaco islands, with scores more unaccounted for or injured. With power still out and some areas still difficult to access, the true extent of the destruction is only now becoming clear.
As Hurricane Dorian was unleashing its unimaginable devastation on the Bahamas earlier this week, Rabbi Sholom and Sheera Bluming, co-directors of Chabad of the Bahamas, hunkered down in the capital city of Nassau, making phone calls to residents, galvanizing the community, coordinating with government aid officials and rallying volunteers during their country’s time of need.
“During the hurricane, we got so many calls, texts and emails from people around the world asking how they can help,” Sheera Bluming told Chabad.org. “Now, we’re all doing all we can to help our neighbors in their time of need.”
The only Jewish organizational presence on the island, the Blumings have rallied their community and folks in Florida to assist with the relief efforts. Seven Chabad centers in South Florida have begun collecting valuable supplies, including food, water, other staples, tarps and generators. A medevac flight – one of the first to get clearance to land in Abaco – was coordinated by Chabad, shuttling in necessary items, including four satellite phones to help people attempt to reach loved ones. EMTs on the flight managed to airlift out the injured for treatment in Nassau.