Hurricane Dorian Response

Sep 10, 2019


Dear Sonder Supporters,

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people impacted – especially those in the Bahamas and along the East Coast. The road to recovery is long and the need for help is great. As a result, supporters have recently reached out to ask if The Sonder Project will be leading a response effort.

 Prior to Hurricane Michael, hurricane relief and recovery wasn’t a part of our mission. Our focus was on chronic community issues, such as food security, clean water and education.  When Michael made landfall, however, all of that changed. The impact was too close – literally just down the road in Panama City, Florida – and we couldn’t just sit it out. From our base in Santa Rosa Beach we were able to serve 215 households and organize volunteers to contribute 6,655 volunteer hours – and our efforts continue today.  

 The Sonder Project was uniquely positioned to respond because of our geographic proximity. If another storm were to make landfall within 60 miles from Santa Rosa Beach, we would surely be on site. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same capacity and resources to immediately respond, organize and oversee a hurricane response outside of our direct footprint. Additionally, as with our focus on other chronic issues, we’ve come to identify housing as one of the central lingering problems left over from Michael, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to address it. 

 Nevertheless, we encourage you to do your research and, once informed, to give directly to organizations dedicated to providing relief to those affected by Hurricane Dorian. Oftentimes the initial impulse is to donate material goods. In our experience, however, offering direct funds is far more efficient, as it allows organizations on the ground to remain flexible and respond to the shifting needs as they arise. Here’s a short video highlighting the best way to give. 

 A few organizations that we know to have operations on the ground include:

In the meantime, we’ll continue to do all we can in the Panama City area and beyond through our global programs. As we approach the one-year anniversary of Michael’s landfall, there’s still plenty to do, so please consider making a donation to help our continuing efforts here.

 With great respect, 

Chad Zibelman

Chad Zibelman
CEO, The Sonder Project

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