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 support for early response and long-term recovery is channeling through 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 member Rachel Larratt deployed to St. Thomas just weeks after the storm. In January, team member Tim Sheaffer and long-term volunteers Marcy Magness-Sheaffer and Marks Beitens joined her. Together, they have been working with community leaders in St. Thomas and across the USVI to enable mission teams to come to the islands and assist with the recovery.

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

Thousands of homes that suffered roof damage are still leaking and growing mold with every passing day. While the necessary case management and funding for repair and rebuild work are still in process, there is much we can do! Homes need to be cleaned out, tarped to protect from rain, and treated for mold so they do not continue to deteriorate until they can be properly repaired. The DRSI team has identified churches that are willing to host volunteers, and we are preparing for your arrival beginning with the week of April 8th!

To schedule or with questions contact Marcy Magness-Sheaffer at STTVolunteer@DRSIteam.org