Love City Strong has several community wellness projects that we are actively seeking funding for. We aspire to be a part of a strong, resilient, prepared St. John, and continue to develop programming to fulfill unmet needs within the community. At the core of everything we do, we strive to act with integrity and have respect for the communities we work with and serve.
We are dedicated to sourcing labor for all of our projects from St. John residents, which directs money into the local economy and develops assets for future disaster response situations. We are not accepting volunteers for ongoing projects at this time.
In conversations about what it means to be prepared and resilient, LCS decided to focus on what worked best for St. John in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma; recreating these systems in a more structured and manageable fashion. We have established secure supply storage facilities in 3 areas across the island; established an annual, stand-by road clearing team ready to deploy in the event of a disaster; established annual preparedness campaigns for St. John’s at-risk residents, and established an annual, stand-by expansion of our Go Team ready to deploy for door-to-door wellness check and supply distribution in the event of a disaster. Our stand-by teams have received extensive training from St. John Rescue, the USVI Department of Health, the Virgin Islands Public Safety-Support Foundation, FEMA, and VITEMA to be effective in a variety of response situations.
Goals: To ensure that resources are pre-staged and easily deployed across St. John in the event of a natural disaster.
Many homes on St. John do not have safe, potable water, and renters and homeowners have no way to determine water quality in their cisterns. In 2018, LCS tested the cistern water quality of 200 homes on St. John for the presence of E.Coli bacteria to ensure that seniors, low-income families, single-parent families, pregnant women, and residents with a disability or a non-emergency medical need/compromised immune system were made aware of their water quality, and were given the proper tools and information to treat their cisterns.
LCS partnered with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a long-term, controlled chlorination treatment study for residents from our our original pool of 200 identified as high-risk, with the goal of developing new, safe methods of long-term cistern treatment that can be used by Virgin Islanders to regain access to potable water if compromised by a natural disaster. The study’s data will be used to reassess what the federal response to future natural disasters regarding water potability is, and to demonstrate that federal policy and procedures currently in place may need to be adjusted to disaster response areas such as the Caribbean basin, where individuals rely heavily on cistern water.
In December 2018, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) awarded a grant to LCS for the current phase of this project: Providing and installing brand new UV and Carbon Filtration systems to 50 residential cisterns belonging to individuals whose cistern test results continuously showed a high-risk of contamination. Replacement filters for two brands identified by LCS are available for purchase on St. John, which will ensure continued usage of these products by residents after the new systems are installed. Following installation, the LCS Water Scientist team will visit the resident’s home and test the water; proving empirically to the resident that their water is safe to use for drinking, cooking, hygiene, and every day use and instilling confidence in the resident for the continued need for proper filtration.
Goals: To provide as many residents as we can with access to clean, safer cistern water; reduce plastic waste on St. John by minimizing the purchase of pre-packaged water; and work with federal partners to change the way that the federal government responds to areas like the U.S. Virgin Islands with regard to water potability immediately after a natural disaster.
Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the majority of homes on St. John still have some degree of mold, ranging from minor to extensive. With help from the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI), LCS hired and trained a cleaning crew of St. John residents who are hard at work sanitizing homes belonging to full-time residents who are seniors, low-income families, single-parent families, pregnant women, or residents with non-emergency medical needs or a compromised immune system. In 2018 over 100 homes were successfully sanitized, and the project is ongoing.
Goals: To provide as many residents as we can with a healthier home environment free of mold and mold spores, and educate residents on how they can protect their health, home, and belongings immediately after future natural disasters.