Hurricane Beryl: One Caribbean Canada outlines ways to help

Toronto-based One Caribbean Canada, which promotes tourism to the Caribbean, has identified ways Canadians can assist islands hardest hit by Hurricane Beryl.

“We want to assure the Canadian public that although Hurricane Beryl has indeed been a deadly, strong storm, Beryl has not impacted all Caribbean countries and the best way to help these islands is to continue to travel to them,” said Nancy Drolet, One Caribbean Canada founder.

“It’s important to understand the geography of the Caribbean and that there are 30-plus countries in the region. A country may be made up of multiple islands: for example, Grenada is made up of three islands, Grenada itself, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. While Carriacou and Petite Martinique were severely damaged, the main island of Grenada where most Canadians visit, was virtually unscathed.”

St. Vincent and The Grenadines has 32 islands and some of its southernmost islands — Union Island, Palm Island, Petit St. Vincent, Canouan and Mayreau in particular — were severely damaged, but the main island of St. Vincent had little damage in comparison.

Although many of the countries in the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles experienced heavy rains and wind damage, only a few experienced damage to their infrastructures.

Jamaica reports clean-up has already begun in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril – all areas that only saw minor impacts, so it is business as usual, with Montego Bay’s airport slated to reopen Thursday. Assessments of damages on the south coast of Jamaica are still forthcoming.

How to help

“The Caribbean has had storms before and is resilient,” Drolet says. “Where needed, they will build again always with a view to rebuilding using all the newest building codes to ensure less damage occurs with future storms. But now our thoughts turn to how we can help the areas that have been impacted by Hurricane Beryl. Canadians have always had close ties with the Caribbean region, and we hope that we can count on their support even though times are tough for everyone.”

One Caribbean Canada has created a page of approved and registered charities or approved government disaster relief funds to aid those countries most impacted by Beryl.

Global Medic is recognized as a preferred charity where Canadians can either volunteer in person or make financial contributions. In addition, there are suggestions on what items are most needed to help those in Grenada and St. Vincent and The Grenadines who have lost their homes and all their belongings.

“We are constantly updating the website with new, pertinent and most importantly, accurate information. We invite Canadians to visit and then help – either by volunteering at Global Medic or by donating tarpaulins or blankets or by making financial contributions so that most needed items can be purchased. We want to thank Canadians for their wonderful words of support and encouragement and look forward to welcoming them back to our islands soon.”

Grenada, St. Vincent & The Grenadines 

Sekou Stroude of the Grenada Tourism Authority’s Toronto office had a Thursday update on the situation back home.

“The island of Grenada has thankfully largely escaped the effects of hurricane Beryl and the Maurice Bishop International Airport has reopened,” he reported.

“The major airlines have already announced the return of their scheduled flights and hotels have also reported that they are fully operational. However, we’re deeply saddened by the widespread damage, and news of fatalities on our sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We are working closely with the emergency services to ensure support and relief efforts are in place as soon as possible, as well as the restoration of vital services. Our focus remains on ensuring the safety and welfare of those affected by the hurricane and our heartfelt sympathies go out to family and friends at this difficult time.”

Grenada’s Hurricane Relief Fund donation portal is Grenada authorities have also put out an appeal for donations of the likes of cots, blankets and non-perishable food. Earl’s Kitchen in Toronto is accepting donated items, as is Avenue Restaurant in Scarborough, Ont., and Carib Dish in Barrie, Ont.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines reports that a wide range of items are needed, including generators, cots, tarps, water jugs and flashlights with batteries. People wanting to donate can do so through the Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Kingston, St. Vincent. The Swift Code is NCBVVC22 and the account number is 137741.

Sandals Foundation initiative

Sandals Resorts provided an update on its resorts Thursday. “At Sandals Resorts ensuring the safety of our guests and our team members is our highest priority,” the company said in a statement.

“Our operations team alongside each local resort team remain in close communication and follow all developing weather events, reviewing the latest information and recommendations from authorities and evolving our plans as necessary. As it relates to Hurricane Beryl, we are happy to report that guests in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are safe, in great spirits and enjoying the resorts. Hurricane Beryl has now passed Jamaica and all guests and resort teams deserve tremendous praise for their preparations and efforts to stay safe. This morning the teams continue to focus on ensuring the ongoing safety of guests and resort operations and are currently conducting their safety checks and assessments across the various resorts. We will be able to provide more updates when that process has been fully completed.”

The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, has set up a ‘Disaster Relief’ initiative with 100% of every dollar going directly to the organization’s Caribbean Emergency Response Efforts, activated immediately after Hurricane Beryl’s impact on St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and, most recently, Jamaica.

Working hand-in-hand with on-the-ground officials across the islands, rebuilding efforts will focus on schools and health facilities that serve the general public – in addition to the distribution of life-sustaining supplies.

Make a donation at and select ‘Disaster Relief.’