Even as parts of Haiti were still recovering from a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew tore through the impoverished island country 4 October, leaving hundreds dead and many more homeless.
 
The Category 4 storm affected an estimated 330,000 people in Haiti, including 6,400 who were moved to temporary shelters. Extensive damage to main bridges and other transportation networks have left some areas cut off and vulnerable. Torrential rains have resulted in flooding and landslides. And contaminated water supplies threaten to lead to a surge in cholera cases and other waterborne illnesses.
 
A ShelterBox response team of volunteers from Canada, England, New Zealand, and the United States traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, last week to assess the damage and decide how best to help people. ShelterBox, an independent charity, is Rotary's project partner for disaster relief.
 
Working with Rotary members, government authorities, and other relief agencies, ShelterBox is focusing on the cholera outbreak in the southern region of the island and emergency shelter. A shipment of ShelterBox supplies arrived in Les Cayes, in the south of Haiti, on Wednesday, which likely will be used to help health professionals screen and treat cholera victims.
 
"We hope to provide ShelterKits along with other crucial supplies like solar lights, mosquito nets, water purification units, and water carriers. All of which will help in the fight against cholera," says Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox.
 
With wind speeds reaching 155 miles per hour, Hurricane Matthew is considered the worst storm to make landfall in Haiti in more than 50 years.