Q&A – Making Sure Your Donations Make It To Dorian Victims

Today’s entry - Hi is your radio station gathering hurricane supplies to the Bahamas like bottled water and stuff?

Bottom Line: Yes, and we’re doing it in a way that ensures relief supplies reaches those in need. Mobile Mike is leading our #iHeartBahamas South Florida effort. He’s secured the necessary permissions working with FHP and other government officials to ensure that 100% of all donations go to those in need in the Bahamas. He will fly with officials with the donations to the islands on September 17th. The effort began yesterday at the Dolphin Mall in Miami. The drive continues today at the Shops at Pembroke Gardens in Pembroke Pine and next Friday, the 13th, the drive will take place at the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach. But that’s just the first round. The drive will continue with a second-round drive that will begin September 27th at the Vero Beach Outlets. These people will need help for quite some time and the goal is to do what we can as a community to assist in an ongoing way. 

It’s important that we help in a way that’s truly effective. I’m sure that most of the pop-up relief efforts are well-intentioned, though I have seen examples that appear to be self-serving, the reality is that most are being disingenuous whether it’s intentional or unintentional. The islands are disaster zones in a foreign country. The only viable and lawful way to assist in relief efforts is through sanctioned efforts which require coordination with government officials. There are very few organizations and relief efforts that have properly conducted donation drives to date and most items donated will never reach those in need in the Bahamas. 

The non-profit agency, Good 360, has studied disaster relief efforts. They’ve shown that on average 60% of donated goods never reach the intended people in need. I witnessed this first-hand with Katrina relief when untold millions of items never made it to New Orleans when people simply thought they’d ride down there with supplies. That’s not the way it works in disaster zones. Without authorization, they weren’t allowed in. Given the complexity and severity of the situation in the Bahamas, it’s likely to be worse than the usual 60%. 

To date, I’ve had people tell me I’m providing misinformation by suggesting they can’t just fly over there or take their boat. I’m not. Numerous officials have warned against this, including live on air during our hurricane coverage. It’s not safe for you. It’s not safe for them and it’s no more lawful or appropriate than if South Florida had a disaster and foreigners showed up at will on our beaches. There’s a right and a wrong way to do things. Just as there’s a right and a wrong way to go about providing relief. The drive being spearheaded by Mobile Mike is being done the right way.

Submit your question by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

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