In addition to its 50 states, the U.S. also possesses five territories that are scattered all over the world. Although they are not exactly first-class, full-fledged members of the country the way the states are, these territories enjoy many of the same privileges and protections.
Unfortunately, the five American territories also sometimes face challenges that can dwarf those of the 50 states. The territories of American Samoa and Guam, for instance, have recently been forced to endure issues with access to the global financial system that have inhibited their economic growth.
There are also other threats faced by certain of the U.S territories that are far more elemental and immediate. Not long ago, the U.S. Virgin Islands were struck by two devastating hurricanes in close succession. Thanks to the efforts of locally incorporated companies like Cane Bay Partners and others, though, the recovery went better than most had expected.
A One-Two Punch Lays the U.S. Virgin Islands Low
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a particularly active one, with storms like Harvey affecting millions of people on the mainland. The season got off to a particularly destructive start, with a Category 5 hurricane dubbed “Irma” becoming the first of its class to ever blow through the northeastern part of the Caribbean.
Irma killed four people in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the brunt of its impact being felt on the densely populated islands of St. Thomas and St. John. The damage it inflicted alone would have required an intense recovery effort, but plans had to be put on hold thanks to a subsequent development.
Not long after Irma headed away from the Virgin Islands, another Category 5 storm made landfall in the area. Doing even more damage than its predecessor, Hurricane Maria cut across the previously spared island of St. Croix. In the space of two short weeks, the U.S. Virgin Islands endured an almost unthinkable amount of storm-induced damage.
Lending a Hand in a Time of Almost Unprecedented Need
Fortunately, the response to these disasters was just as agile and effective as the storms were merciless. Local companies partnered with nonprofit groups and others to make sure aid and supplies got where they were needed right away. As a result, the recovery from these devastating storms proceeded far more quickly and smoothly than most had expected.