Hurricane Maria grew fast, so fast it took some serious planning to get into gear and prepare. Once it became clear it was making its way for a direct hit on St. Croix – which was still recovering from close contact with Irma and flash flooding from Jose – we set our plan into motion.
Our first concern was getting our employees, their families and their pets to safety. Our second concern was ensuring that our business could continue to operate in the storm’s aftermath so our employees could continue receiving their pay checks and benefits. Cane Bay Partners executives were able to secure a last minute flight out of St. Croix and get employees and their loved ones to Atlanta.
Some employees, however, opted to stay behind. In the aftermath, it became clear it would be sometime before our downtown office was repaired and perhaps longer before the island’s infrastructure – including electricity, Internet connectivity, education and health care – could be at full capacity again. So, the company again was able to secure a private plane to bring most of the remaining employees, their families and pets. This time, the remaining seats were opened up to the government of the Virgin Islands to evacuate the sick, the elderly, pregnant women and others in need, as well as the community at large.
In total, the two plans took 230 people and dozens of animals off island and to Atlanta.
But it wasn’t enough to get people off island. St. Croix is our home, many of us our native home, so everyone became focused on what they could do to help, to get aid to those in need and to support the rebuilding process.
So we founded Cane Bay Cares, a community-focused arm of Cane Bay Partners. And through it, we set up a St. Croix Hurricane Relief Drive with funds going directly to St. Croix through the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. We don’t feel obligated to do our part, we feel a deep desire and commitment to help rebuild the island and help the residents get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. And we’re asking for your support, whether that’s through a donation or through supporting this cause by encouraging others to get involved.