U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

A sea of blue-tarped roofs belies the tranquility of island life after Hurricanes Irma & Maria ravaged the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the United States Virgin Islands on September 6th, 2017 as a Category 5 hurricane. Ten days later the Virgin Islands were struck by Hurricane Maria, another category 5 hurricane, cumulatively impacting over 120,000 residents.

Disciples have been present from the beginning of the recovery through a unique partnership, the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI). DRSI is a joint ministry of Disciples Volunteering, Week of Compassion, and the disaster ministries of the Church of the Brethren and the United Church of Christ. Team members Rachel Larratt and Tim Sheaffer, along with long-term volunteers Marcy Magness-Sheaffer and Marks Beitens, worked closely with community leaders in St. Thomas and across the USVI to enable mission teams to come to the islands and assist with the recovery. The St. Thomas Recovery Team is now serving residents of St. Thomas as their long-term recovery group, coordinating resources with needs for those affected by the hurricanes.

Hurricane Irma ripped open the roof of this elementary school classroom in St. Thomas causing extensive damage.

Thousands of homes were damaged; many are still in need of basic, temporary repairs. Homes need to be cleaned out, tarped to protect from rain, and treated for mold so they do not continue to deteriorate. At the same time, support is in place to enable significant repair and rebuild work. All that is needed now is willing servants to come to St. Thomas and help.

To schedule or with questions contact Josh Baird.