Lessons from Anguilla — Resilience in the Face of Disaster

Resilience in the Face of Disaster

Hurricane Irma

On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma tore across the tiny island nation of Anguilla. The hurricane destroyed every power pole. Roofs were torn off schools, government buildings, and the hospital. The Category 5 hurricane’s 185 mph winds and driving rain caused severe interior damage and destruction to most buildings on the island. After the storm, every road on the island was blocked with fallen polls, trees, and debris, and there was no power for weeks. Amazingly, only two people died.

Resilience in the Face of Disaster

Six months later, we are visiting; amazed at the recovery that has taken place in such a short time. Most Caribbean islands, such as neighboring St Maarten, remain heavily damaged. Anguilla’s 13,000 inhabitants have worked their hearts and bodies out to bring life here back to something approaching normal. Power has been restored all over the island, internet and phone is largely back, and the majority of the colorful beach restaurants and shops serving Anguilla’s crucial tourist industry have been completely rebuilt.

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