Hurricane Dorian was the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. Dorian is by far the costliest disaster in Bahamian history, estimated to have left behind billions in damage.
Destruction in the Bahamas was catastrophic due to the prolonged and intense storm conditions, including heavy rainfall, high winds peaking at 185 mph and a storm surge of up to 23 feet destroyed or swept out to sea many structures, thousands were left homeless and many are still missing.
Rand Memorial Hospital, the main clinic in Freeport, had to evacuate patients from the flooded facility in the middle of the hurricane as floodwaters rose to about a foot in the hospital. Everything from machines to hospital beds, the operating room, the ICU were all ruined and rendered unusable after being contaminated by sewage and mold outbreaks due to the flood waters.
Carnival Corporation & plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport on Grand Bahama. The Rand Memorial Hospital project comprises two critical restoration initiatives: remediation and basic repairs for the facility and replacing damaged medical equipment.
The agreement is designed to provide hurricane relief funds to rapidly restore Rand Memorial Hospital, with a collective goal of returning the facility to a safe and healthy environment for patients and medical professionals by the end of March 2020.
Additionally, the hospital’s existing kitchen suffered damage, so the restoration project is expected to include the completion of a new kitchen that was partially constructed prior to the storm, which will be able to provide meals for patients and staff once the hospital officially reopens.
“We are grateful to the Bahamian emergency response team from Carnival Corporation, Direct Relief, Grand Bahama Shipyard, University of Miami and its partners for working together to restore our facility as quickly as possible to a safe, secure and healthy environment for medical care” said Sharon Williams, administrator for Grand Bahama Health Services, the local healthcare system that includes Rand Memorial Hospital.
The Rand Memorial Hospital restoration efforts outlined in the MOU are part of a significant donation from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, the company’s cruise line brands and its guests, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation to provide funding and in-kind support to help overall hurricane recovery efforts in The Bahamas.
Since Hurricane Dorian hit in September 2019, Carnival Corporation and its brands have worked with local and international organizations, including Grand Bahama Shipyard, Direct Relief, Tropical Shipping and World Central Kitchen, to partner with businesses across The Bahamas on projects providing both immediate relief and long-term impacts wherever possible.
This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.