More information from Celia of the St. John Community Foundation:
Getting on 1pm call with FEMA director who just landed in STX…here is 11am update
9-14 IRMA update from SJCF-VOAD: We continue connecting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) VALs to coordinate with federal, state, local, and partners on the ground in St. John to support the local response and recovery efforts. Curfew is still 6pm-6am and people are feeling more secure with strong military/police presence. Shelters and feeding sites are working well both in Cruz Bay (Red Cross) and in Coral Bay (a “multicentric” community driven effort from Fire Station, Guy Benjamin Community Center and CBCC-Sharon’s team)
Communications are improving with another wifi hotspot at DMV and others being worked on for cell service too. Connections in Cruz Bay has once again become the information hub it is known for and has returned to its original roll of communications exchanges via message boards and more. Cory is there organizing resident volunteers at 10:45am and 1:15pm to assign them in 2 hour shifts with transportation to various sites for cleanup and other tasks.
Search and rescue continues in an organized manner (STJ Rescue, DIRT, Military, FEMA) with houses that have been searched being marked as such and the news is reassuring. Evacuations continue with hundreds getting out each day. People go to the National Park to get their name on the list and there is a priority scale of injured, family with children and elderly, etc, and it is working effectively – many who have made it to STX and P’Rico are already back in the states and able to share their experiences with the media for the much needed awareness of devastation for long term attention.
We are looking into waste management and will be passing information. Right now people are asked to keep as much on their own property as possible; compact and sort as much as possible for pickup/drop off as it is arranged – take caps off water bottles so they can collapse to reduce bulk.
SJCF- VOAD volunteers Erin, Aubrey, Mike and others report in several times daily and we have shifted from immediate feeding, shelter, rescue concerns to donations management. We are coordinating things with the established channels and getting approval for others. Although monetary donations are still key, we are looking into ShelterBox homes, TIDE washer/dryer setups, water filtration systems and more. We are also working on relations with Immigrations on behalf of unofficial residents who need but are reluctant to accept assistance.
A supply needs list will be released as soon as we have a handle on the bulk items on the way into current distribution channels…please refer to yesterday’s update/post on the information needed if you have bulk items being organized for this effort. Volunteers from the states who want to come down are encouraged not to rush down yet due to limited accommodations and to register with the Red Cross and and NVOAD – National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster – you can be affiliated with St. John Community Foundation that way and connected to all the National Relief Agencies who are organizing efforts on behalf of St. John.
Rest assured, your donations to the Foundation will continue to be used for IRMA relief efforts now and through the long term recovery phases in a fiscally responsible, conscientious and direct manner. Cash donations to voluntary disaster relief organizations enables them to purchase exactly what is most needed – whereas donated items require voluntary agencies to spend money and considerable time for sorting, inventorying, warehousing, and distribution. If you would like us to direct your donation to any specific St. John organization, let us know, and we will do so.
To make a donation to the Foundation for St. John IRMA relief efforts go to http://thestjohnfoundation.org/donate
As you may know, we were formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Marilyn and have been responsibly managing local and federal funds for over 28 years. Feel free to ask us any questions, we have current Good Standing with the VI Govt, you can look us up on D&B, and Guidestar, etc. ….our EIN # is 66-0463145 and your donation is fully tax deductible.
Much love and many blessings – Celia