Hernando County is usually threatened by at least one storm forecast during the hurricane season. Often the storms are steered elsewhere, although it has been only two years since a weakened Irma directly hit this area. Last year the community came together to deliver supplies to Mexico Beach, Florida and surrounding communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. There were many local businesses and organizations that delivered needed supplies. The constant threat of being hit by a hurricane, leads residents of this area to feel a kinship with the victims of a hurricane. Hurricane Dorian directly hit the Bahamas as an intense category 5 hurricane. Once again the community is coming together to support the victims of the latest hurricane.
Marker 48 Brewing
Marker 48 Brewing, a local microbrewery, filled empty fermentors and other tanks with water in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. This would have enabled them to supply water to the community in case the area lost power and/or other utilities because of the storm. Marker 48 stores as much clean water as they can anytime a major storm is heading in our general direction. The fermentors are sealed sanitary storage containers which are cleaned and filled. They also filled a reverse osmosis tank. This would have been more than a thousand gallons of drinkable water available to the area.
The owners of Marker 48, Maurice and Tina Ryman, initially got involved through their good friends Jeff and Betsy Graves, who have a condo on Grand Bahama and travel there often by boat. The Graves wanted to take a trip to Grand Bahama to help out people they knew. This led Marker 48 to request donations to help those in the northern Bahamas that received the brunt of the storm, within two days they received so many supplies that they had to temporarily stop taking supplies.
"It has been awesome to see everyone come together to help our neighbors in the Bahamas," said Tina Ryman. The initial trip was three boats going over to the Bahamas. The delay in accepting supplies allowed the Graves and others to deliver the supplies and report back on which supplies were the most needed.
Due to the supplies being delivered by boats they are placed in buckets with lids to keep them dry. The buckets are a useful tool on the island. Each bucket is labeled for the person they would help for instance women size medium.
Each bucket contains items to help a person survive a few days until more help arrived. Each bucket has several bottles of water, several canned food items, toilet paper, sanitary wipes, personal hygiene products, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, work gloves, and underwear. The buckets are packed for babies, toddlers, men and women of different sizes.
The supplies are distributed to a church on Grand Bahama that survived the hurricane. On the first trip when they arrived, some of the people had gone a day without water.
The donated supplies made close to 200 buckets, plus there was extra water, cleaning supplies, and food that they were able to deliver. Currently they are collecting life critical supplies: water non-perishable food, tarps, wipes, diapers, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. They are not currently collecting used clothes or blankets.
They are also looking at creating cisterns for longer term water supply. The water supply was damaged and it looks like it will take a little while to get it fixed.
If you have a large boat that can safely cross to the Bahamas and would like to help deliver supplies, you can message the Marker 48 Facebook page or call them at (352) 606-2509.
Mr & Ms Salon & Day Spa
The owner of Mr & Ms Salon, Janie Wiley, has connections to the owners of Western Airline with service to the Bahamas. Rexy, the VP of the airline is a family friend. Rexy's parents own the airline and they are from the Bahamas.
Mr & Ms Salon & Day Spa is collecting supplies now for Freeport, where Rexy lives. Janie Wiley and her daughter Polly are driving the collections in a UHaul truck down to Western Airline's hub in Fort Lauderdale, September 16th. Western Airline pilots will be flying the supplies to the Bahamas. They are accepting clothes, sheets, and towels along with life critical supplies.
If you would like to donate, please bring supplies to Mr & Ms Salon, 19283 Cortez Blvd. Rexy has also asked for all of us to pray for their family, their business and their country.
NJoy Spirits (Wild Buck Whiskey, Mermaid Rum)
Natalie and Kevin Goff of NJoy Spirits are collecting new items for their dear friends in the Bahamas who have lost everything. They will be collecting items all month long. Jet Air is transporting all the items in their seaplanes to Marsh Harbour a town in Abaco Islands, Bahamas for distribution throughout the cays. They need as many items as possible.
NJoy Spirits received a large number of items in their initial request for donations to be dropped off at their distillery. They are continuing to accept new items at their distillery Thursday - Sunday 11:00-4:00 pm. You can find it by putting 13243 Commercial Way Brooksville, FL 34614 in your GPS. There is also a map to the distillery on their website njoyspirits.com for reference. You don’t have to pay the park fee if only visiting the distillery, so you enter the park and travel 15 minutes south on south road to the distillery.
NJoy Spirits is also donating a portion of their spirit / beer sales to the Bahamas Red Cross and to PERC, a local charity organization directly assisting Hope Town residents in Abaco, Bahamas. NJoy Spirits would like to give many thanks to all those generous folks helping others.
The Killingsworth Agency collected items at their Brooksville office. The donations were taken by cargo ship to the Abacos, Bahamas. They received an overwhelming number of supplies. They were part of a drive that filled four cargo ships. Once the ships were nearly full the drive ended.
The community came together to help those affected by the hurricane. The supplies that are being collected and delivered will help fill the gap until the major relief agencies can get their programs underway. Our community can be proud of their response to the disaster and the speed at which the relief efforts were started.
Items to donate:
Chainsaws & Chains
Chainsaw Bar Oil
Duct Tape Tarps & Ropes
Hammers & Nails
Battery Operated Fans
Mosquito Nets Unused Blankets
OTC Medical Supplies Solar Phone Chargers
Phone Battery Packs
Camping Lights (Solar & Battery Powered)