The United States Virgin Islands is a wonderful place to live, but it also regularly faces serious challenges. Chief among these are the tropical storms that so often wreak havoc on the islands and will almost certainly continue to do so.
Especially because many residents of the territory are not well off, recovering from such disasters can be difficult. People like Kirk Chewning have taken the lead in recent years to help the U.S. Virgin Islands rebound more quickly after damaging storms make landfall.
Helping a Vulnerable Place Weather Intense Storms Better
Every Atlantic hurricane season puts the U.S Virgin Islands in danger, even if the territory escapes serious damage in most years. More regularly than anyone would like, a severe storm hits the islands head-on, leveling many buildings and causing other problems.
Even when residents take care to find secure shelter within which to wait out such events, getting back on track afterwards often proves difficult. Despite being a top destination for tourists from all over the world, the U.S Virgin Islands have never been especially wealthy.
Residents who have been fortunate enough to amass wealth and connections of their own, though, have increasingly opted to pitch in to help others. Chewning and other founders of local consulting firm Cane Bay Partners, for instance, established a non-profit that has been tasked with assisting with recovery after serious storms.
Much-Needed Resources and Support
That has made a significant difference in recent years, even after some of the most damaging storms in memory struck the islands in close succession. Offering up supply packages and other constructive responses quite quickly, nonprofits in the U.S Virgin Islands have helped make the territory more self-sufficient.
This has proved especially fruitful and significant because aid delivered from within the territory’s boundaries arrives more quickly and can be targeted more accurately. Instead of waiting many days or weeks for international help to arrive, residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands have been able to rely more on their neighbors for the support they needed.
While there are plenty of other steps that need to be taken, the value of this development should not be overlooked. Since the U.S. Virgin Islands will face many storms in the future, coming up with better ways to respond will always be helpful.