Recovery after Hurricane Irma

Amy's story

Amy lived on Barbuda with her two sons, Ivan and Clarence, before Hurricane Irma hit the island.

The category 5 hurricane caused catastrophic damage throughout the island. The wind reached speeds of 295 kmph, while homes, crops and livelihoods were totally destroyed.

Ferocious storm


‘On the night of the hurricane, I was with my neighbour. It was midnight. We weren’t prepared. It was scary. It was a night I will never forget. Never. Never.’

As the hurricane raged above them, Amy’s family and their neighbour attempted to hide from the storm in the living room.

The roof kept lifting up and dropping back down. The next thing we knew, it was gone.

So we ran from the house to the shop next door, where the roof was more secure. But a lamp post fell on the shop while we were inside. We were afraid.

Woman standing in front of ShelterBox tent in Barbuda

A long night


Amy waited until the eye of the hurricane passed before leaving the shop, but the force of the storm was still strong.

When they eventually made it to the hospital shelter, there were 200-300 people already there, standing in the middle of the room because the windows were smashing.

A little boy died, he was a year old.

Amy’s family stayed there until morning, praying, hoping, and waiting for the storm to subside.

That was the longest night. All that wind, rain and noise.

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Nothing left


Collapsed roof after hurricane Irma and Maria in Barbuda, 2017
The roof in Amy's home collapsed during the storm.

I came back here [to my house]. The roof was gone. Oh my God. I cried.

I did not cry because of the material things. I cried because God saved my life.

With so much rubble and no roof over her head, Amy could not stay in her house.

All she could do was attempt to clear the house of debris.

The journey to recovery


We provided Amy, and many other families in Barbuda, with a tent for them to stay in until they can start rebuilding their home.

For Amy and her family, a tent meant relief.

It has made a big difference to have a tent. It protects me from the rain. I love my tent.

Your support means that we can continue to provide relief from disasters and spread hope to communities that are vulnerable to disaster, wherever they are.

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