6 September 2017

Hurricane Irma: SOS Children’s Villages in the Caribbean and Florida prepare for storm

Washington, DC, September 9, 2017 — Hurricane Irma, a catastrophic Category 5 storm, is powering through the Caribbean, packing sustained winds of 185 mph and registering as one of the strongest storms in history. According to the National Hurricane Center, Category 5 hurricanes can cause maximum damage, including destruction of homes and infrastructure, as well as power outages. Forecasts predict Hurricane Irma will bring 8-12 inches of rain, with isolated amounts of 20 inches, which could lead to mudslides and flash flooding. 
 

Although the situation is highly unpredictable, reports indicate that Hurricane Irma’s path includes the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Florida – locations where SOS Children’s Villages (SOS) runs villages, schools and programs that support vulnerable communities.  Areas in its path, such as northern Haiti, are incredibly vulnerable and prone to flooding which could cause a devastating impact on children and families. 
 

Given the intensity of the storm and predicted path, SOS is on high alert and making necessary preparations to ensure the safety of children, families and staff members. SOS is securing its homes and stocking up on food, water and other basic necessities, such as batteries, flashlights and radios. 
 

On Friday, SOS Florida plans to evacuate children, families and staff members from its Coconut Creek village to a local shelter. SOS continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates from the field once available. 
 

About SOS Children’s Villages
 

SOS Children’s Villages is an international organization that builds families for children in need in 134 countries around the globe. Through our programs, we strengthen families at risk of falling apart to keep them together. For children with no families or who cannot stay with their families, we welcome them to live with one of our SOS families.  With a longstanding and trusted presence in local communities, we are able to quickly and effectively help children and their families affected by crises. Since 1988, we’ve managed 140 Emergency Response Programs in more than 60 countries.
 

Dominican Republic
SOS Children’s Villages operates three SOS Villages, two SOS youth facilities and four SOS family centers in Santiago de los Caballeros, Los Jardines del Norte and Los Mina. Since the 1980s, SOS has provided care and support to the country’s most vulnerable children. 

 

Haiti
SOS Children’s Villages operates three SOS Villages in Cap Haitien, Les Cayes and Santo. Since 1978, the organization has been on the ground supporting the immediate and long-term needs of children and families. Given our long-term presence and close ties to the communities, we have provided relief and aided in the rebuilding of communities impacted by crises, including the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and 2016 Hurricane Matthew. 

 

Coconut Creek, Florida, USA  
SOS Children’s Villages operates one SOS Village in Coconut Creek, which is home to up to seventy-five boys and girls. SOS works to ensure each child growing up in the Village has a safe and secure home. SOS Florida creates a nurturing and vibrant environment with an array of services to help vulnerable children overcome their past traumas and build a successful future. Learn more: www.sosflorida.com