You are here: Hurricanes Irma and Maria: 2 years on

Whole islands devastated


On 27 August 2017, a tropical wave left the west coast of Africa. Within 4 days it had become Hurricane Irma - the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Hurricane Irma made landfall on 6 September, leaving a string of Caribbean islands completely devastated. With wind speeds of up to 185 mph, Irma maintained Category 5 strength for 60 consecutive hours.

But the devastation didn't stop there. Almost two weeks later, Hurricane Maria hit the same islands that took the brunt of Irma's wrath. Also a Category 5 hurricane, Maria sustained winds of 155 mph, taking down home after home. When the hurricane passed over Dominica, it destroyed all of the buildings on the island. 

Two years later, we are looking back to one of the worst hurricane seasons in the Caribbean, in pictures. Take a look below and see how we've helped.

Who we've helped


We have provided aid to over 2,000 families across five islands in the Caribbean. Read their incredible stories of recovery here.

Rebuilding after Hurricane Maria

See how Ella managed to rebuild and improve her family's livelihood after Hurricane Maria.

Recovery in Dominica

How 81-year-old Simon started rebuilding his life with the help of ShelterBox after Hurricane Maria.

Recovery after Hurricane Irma

How our team helped Amy's family start rebuilding after Hurricane Irma destroyed their home.

Hurricane Matthew devastates the Caribbean - credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

Disasters Don't Stop

Right now, it is hurricane season again in the Caribbean.

We are monitoring activity from our Headquarters to ensure that we are ready to respond next time a disaster strikes.

But what exactly is a hurricane? How do they form? How often do they occur? Find out everything you need to know here.