Lesson of the Day: ‘Bahamas Relief Efforts Frustrated as Dorian Pulls Away’

Lesson of the Day: ‘Bahamas Relief Efforts Frustrated as Dorian Pulls Away’

Please note: Each current events “Lesson of the Day” (renamed from our old “Article of the Day” feature) aims to be usable in a single class period.

Featured Article: “Bahamas Relief Efforts Frustrated as Dorian Pulls Away” (available here as a PDF)

Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane on Sept. 1 in the Bahamas, then lingered, pummeling the northern islands of the Bahamian archipelago for more than three days. In this Lesson of the Day, students assess the hurricane’s damage via Times photos, videos and an article, and then brainstorm ways they can aid in the relief effort.

Take a few minutes to view some or all of these Times videos and photos that show the devastation Hurricane Dorian has caused on the Bahamas:

Respond in writing or discuss with your classmates: What is your reaction to what you see? Which images do you find the most compelling or impactful and why? What do you wonder? What questions do you have?

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

1. There are many factors contributing to the frustration of the relief and rescue efforts in the Bahamas. What are at least three?

2. Besides the clear physical destruction, what mental, emotional and social toll has Hurricane Dorian taken on residents?

3. Mister Rogers famously advised to “look for the helpers” in the wake of tragedy. Who are the helpers in this situation — those who have risked their own safety or given their own resources to help others? Why do you think ordinary people often act heroically in times like these?

4. Michael Scott, the chairman of The Grand Lucayan Resort and Casino, described the wreckage as “a catastrophic and dystopian mess.” How would you describe it? What evidence from the article supports your description?

5. What is your reaction to everything you have read and viewed? What questions do you still have?

What responsibilities do individuals have in helping communities ravaged by natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian?

Aid experts say there will be immediate emergency needs before the long, arduous task of rebuilding the Bahamas begins. This article lists several organizations that are collecting donations to provide such relief.

How can you and your class help raise money or collect resources for the relief effort? Or, is there something else you could do? Do you or other students in your class have relatives or friends in the Bahamas or the Eastern Seaboard where the hurricane is headed next? What specific needs do they have that you are aware of?

Use the information from the articles and videos above to brainstorm ideas for how you can help. Then, come up with a plan to put them into action.