British billionaire Richard Branson is working alongside a disaster relief charity as Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded, batters the Caribbean and Florida, leaving unimaginable devastation in its wake.
Richard, who has a home in the British Virgin Islands, met with Team Rubicon UK volunteers and British soldiers in Tortola to see how he can assist the relief efforts.
Hurricane Irma has caused the entire British Virgin Islands infrastructure to collapse. The people who live there need help to rebuild their lives and have a critical need for food, water and shelter. Branson told the volunteers:
“Thanks for everything you do. It’s really inspiring.”
This is where Team Rubicon UK come in. Their primary mission is to provide relief to those affected by natural disasters. They utilize the skills and experiences of military veterans to make sure people living in a disaster zones can survive.
The people of the Caribbean and the British Virgin Islands are now bracing themselves for Hurricane Maria who is threatening to wreak more havoc and disrupt relief efforts over the coming days. Team Rubicon UK’s staff are working with residents to secure already damaged buildings and shelters.
Barbuda, an island 316km away, took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma and is virtually uninhabitable with dead animals hanging over the wrecked homes. The island was evacuated before the devastating hurricane hit and Team Rubicon have visited to assess the damage.
Team Rubicon UK are sending 40 additional volunteers to the Caribbean, to continue the vital work of mapping damage, assessing battered buildings, providing drone footage of the devastation and helping other relief agencies unload much needed supplies.
Many veterans who volunteer for Team Rubicon UK regain a sense of purpose, community & identity.
Team Rubicon UK has launched an emergency appeal to fund its work in the Caribbean. Donations can be made here > www.teamrubiconuk.org/donate
Picture credits: Ellie Mackay, Chris Shirley & Lizzy Stileman