In September of 2017, The U.S. Virgin Islands were demolished by an unprecedented two Category 5 storms within a two-week period. On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, taking many lives and leaving thousands without food, water, electricity, communication devices and other life sustaining needs. On September 19th, Hurricane Maria destroyed the island of St Croix. These devastating storms impacted all U.S. Virgin Islanders, and people with disabilities suffered in particularly challenging ways.
Many people with disabilities lost their lives due to the absence of electricity to keep medicine cold and to keep lifesaving medical devices powered. Many had to be evacuated off the island due to inadequate infrastructure and medical care to meet the ongoing needs. Mobility equipment and assistive technology devices used for communication and to sustain daily living were lost or destroyed. In response to these great needs, VIUCEDD partnered with colleagues and agencies around the AUCD network and the disability community at large to coordinate donations for our population.
The process of hurricane recovery is ongoing and can often take years. For this reason, VIUCEDD continues to solicit funds to help address the unmet needs of people with disabilities who were adversely impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
If you would like to help, please contribute via the GoFundMe page. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
Contact us for more information and with any questions. As part of the University of the Virgin Islands, we proudly serve individuals in the St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix districts.