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Joined: 07/03/05
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Loc: Texas
Distribution of supplies on Tortola
      #1745467 - 09/12/17 05:03 PM (

Is anyone else following the FB posts on BVI Abroad - Hurricane Irma about the supplies not getting distributed and many boats with aid being turned away from the Port Purcell drop off? They really started cranking up yesterday, and there are more today. I just tried to go back to read the ones from yesterday, and they have all been removed.
I've read that Riteway is now OUT of water, and someone had waited in line 4 hours to get inside. The people in West End, CGB, Carrot Bay, etc are really getting desperate for help (and it appears have very little opportunity to get messages in or out).

The media coverage has been all sunshine and roses regarding the calvary, but I think there's a problem someone is covering up.

This is NOT a time to be worried about your tourism image or having perfect lists of cargo so you can collect duty! The other excuse I've read is that their 1 storage facility is FULL, and its taking time to get distribution centres set up, blah, blah. At this point - they need to just pile the stuff up and keep it coming in. West End needs a boat delivery ASAP. This is taking WAY too long.

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Joined: 07/13/12
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Loc: Apex, NC
Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: purplelily]
      #1745470 - 09/12/17 05:21 PM (

Wow... I believe there are less than 25K people on Tortola on a good day. I'm sure many of them left so fewer right now. That's a small college football game worth of people. So hard to believe this is an availability problem in terms of necessities but rather a massive failure in government/administration. The british navy needs to be put in charge and suspend all local govt. - surely they would have some ability to get the job done. It just shouldn't be that hard - manageable number of people and a relatively small confined space.

Life's short - sail more!

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Joined: 03/09/06
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Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: agrimsrud]
      #1745471 - 09/12/17 05:31 PM (

I am hearing that only essential personnel will be allowed for the foreseeable future due to the devastation of the islands. I cannot imagine people being allowed into the islands when there is such a shortage of supplies, and no power grid set up. Most of the poles have been snapped as well as the power lines. Martial law is still in effect, the situation re the escaped prisoners has locals worried as there has been continued looting and some robberies...The stench of garbage etc is starting to become a bit rank, and this all could lead to, I'd suggest a wait of a few months before coming back.

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Joined: 09/18/10
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Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: agrimsrud]
      #1745472 - 09/12/17 05:32 PM (

From what I've seen, the problem is more likely getting word out and getting around the island. I don't think supplies can be delivered door to door and are more available at the shelters. I've seen many posts that say the Airport has water..etc.

But it is clear the disaster management there needs a serious overhaul. This is a significant event, but the lack of communication is quite awful. Areas really should have been broken up and a team leader assigned to each with people checking in daily, getting updates..etc.


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Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 930
Loc: Winston Salem, NC
Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: maytrix]
      #1745592 - 09/13/17 08:23 AM (

Follow Sam Branson on instagram....he gives a very realistic view of what's going on each day. And he's busting his butt to get supplies to everyone.

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Joined: 12/03/04
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Loc: Ill, USA
Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: purplelily]
      #1745639 - 09/13/17 10:13 AM (

It's easy to be critical especially when not on the ground. The truth is in natural disasters whether in island nations or in the states, initial needs are met more by private organizations than government. Residents taking initiative working with those organizations to help their neighbors are the first line.
In Katrina the Southern Baptist relief organization that is a huge volunteer operation now working in both Florida and Texas, supplied 20 million meals. They have crews with chainsaws and tarps on the ground and working. The Salvation Army does similar along with other religious affiliated groups that you don't hear about as often as the Red Cross but they are essential. Government agencies really are not great at supply and point of need care. I think Since Katrina government response here is less beauracratic but government beuracracy is a "thing" in every country. I am sure just as there is in our current Florida and Texas disasters some knuckleheads making bad decisions. Just as they did turning around a boat of US citizens from the bVI in St Thomas wanting to catch a cruise ship out.
Unfortunately the BVI does not have a big country where people from areas unaffected and used to dealing with these disasters can come in with trucks of supplies tents stoves and people that know how to organize the day after.
Two groups and probably others have sprung up since the storm Virgin Gorda relief fund got off the ground by the folks at Dive BVI and Anegada relief fund started by Walker. It's a realization that just as in natural disasters here private groups that can liason with government to supply or provide aid is the best way to get to needs quickly. On Virgin Gorda I saw they now have distribution points with security for the supplies being brought in. The Puerto Rican Navy has done a whole lot. They have a protocol for calling in with boat numbers and what is aboard so that they can land without hassle. I'm sure there are some hiccups. But it is not correct that people are not responding and trying to ease suffering .

I heard for first time yesterday from my friend who also looks after our boat. There is a lot going on that is good and helping in a major way in combination with private volunteers and government and British troops.

Here is what he had to say. He has several 26 ft ribs with 250s on them that he gives Tours on in better times.

"Hi Will short email as very busy
Asolare is 100% ok
As are our ribs
Blue lagoon a write off in Paraquita along with 300 other boats
Lots of stories to tell
We are using our assets to help the Royal Marine Commandos out with whatever they need.
Right now we are making sure everyone is ok .
Have been to JVD
Now need to see VG and Anegada
Us our house both cars and all our boats bar BL are 100% ok
Going to be a rough road ahead lots of looting and ealing going on as prison is open!
Be safe!"

I replied with the relief we had that he and his wife were safe that he was either a great hurricane preparer or the luckiest bloak down there.

Heard back late afternoon

"Going with best preparer just now
Most amazing guardian angel and lucky sod all work!

Still a short rmail as we are still busy running fuel from the Royal fleet auxiliary Mounts Bay to JVD
Talk soon


So all the private aid had to be organized from scratch after the disaster and money raised, items purchased and delivery made. Local folks with knowledge of the islands and boats are doing a great job. When you have to start from scratch, it may not go perfectly and seldom does one have the issue of loosing all the inmates from a prison while dealing with a major disaster.
It's easy to critique but much better to encourage and open pocketbooks and if can open them again when you see a new group you trust..there will be scams.

I would encourage Someone with clout and rich contacts and suppliers like Richard Branson to form a charitable group immediately .allow donations from public and they could fill containers of needed supplies out of the US in a heartbeat..expedited clearance no duty ..while those on ground set up distribution.

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Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: lonewolf1977]
      #1745657 - 09/13/17 10:45 AM (


lonewolf1977 said:
Follow Sam Branson on instagram....he gives a very realistic view of what's going on each day. And he's busting his butt to get supplies to everyone.

You beat me to this suggestion. If I understood his video, his group was not allowed to land on Tortola and were turned away. He made an appeal for someone/everyone to reach out to the government and bring it to the attention of the higher ups.

The next update indicated someone came to their senses and allowed the distribution of supplies.

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Re: Distribution of supplies on Tortola [Re: Cleobeach]
      #1745736 - 09/13/17 02:00 PM (

When the dust settles, I hope they will consider a required course in school for disaster survival on an island. Cistern water has to be available in most areas - dip a bucket and boil on a wood fire. I know there are still chickens roaming, and most likely still a few goats and donkeys. If you've ever watched a survival show - they even eat rats, lizards, and snails. Even with all vegetation gone, you won't starve.

Could everyone bury a 55 gallon drum for their supplies? I read that some people had supplies, but they were blown away. Lifestraws are $20 and filter 1,000 liters. MREs should last about 3 years at 80 degrees (buried temp?), and avg $5 per meal. Add a knife, firestarter, tarp, paracord, duct tape, flashlight, and batteries. For about $100/year, every person could have disaster supplies buried in their yard.

Obviously, anyone in flood prone areas would need another plan.

I think this might be a great use for some of the recovery funding.

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