News story: Hurricane Irma: UK government response in numbers, 13 September 2017



  • RFA Mounts Bay, pre-stationed in the region, provided initial assistance to Anguilla to clear the runway. It then continued to British Virgin Islands to establish security of supplies, and fix basic infrastructure and shelter to people. After travelling to US Virgin Islands to resupply, she returned to Anguilla to deliver reconstruction materials and arrived in the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday with further supplies and will be delivering humanitarian aid and disaster relief on Wednesday.
  • HMS Ocean is being deployed to the region after being loaded with 5,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 buckets and 500,000 aquatabs in Gibraltar.


  • Over 200 personnel arrived on Tuesday 12 September, including stabilisation advisers, medical support and military.
  • Over 200 military personnel will arrive in Barbados on Wednesday 13 September
  • We have one Wildcat Helicopter with Mounts Bay and two RAF Puma aircraft currently operating in the region. Another RAF Puma helicopter and Chinook will arrive tomorrow.
  • A C-130J and A400M has been making shuttles from Barbados to required destinations across the region to deliver key support, including BVI, Turks and Caicos and Anguilla.
  • One Antonov cargo plane with supplies arrived on Tuesday 12 September.


  • There are now 1,000 UK military troops in the region helping with the relief effort with 200 more arriving in the next few days

Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff and consular expertise  

  • An FCO Rapid Deployment Team (including Red Cross support) is in the region, with a team already deployed to BVI.
  • Consular staff have been deployed to assist British nationals being evacuated from Curacao and Guadeloupe.
  • Consular teams in Cuba and the US are working closely with tour operators and local authorities to ensure British nationals are getting the support they need.
  • The dedicated crisis hotline has so far taken over 2,500 calls.


  • Over 60 UK police deployed to the region, in addition to 16 Caymanian police and 6 Bermudian Police  


  • £32 million already announced for disaster relief with a further £25million committed.  
    • The government has made £2.5 million available to the Pan American Health Organisation to ensure critical health services are provided in the region, and to reduce the risk of disease spreading. This is part of the £32 million it has so far pledged.
  • UK Government will aid match public donations to the Red Cross appeal up to £3 million.
  • Department for International Development (DFID) Field Teams have been sent to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos, Antigua, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.
  • Over 40 metric tonnes of DFID aid has now arrived and is being distributed across the region, including 2,896 shelter kits, which can provide shelter for over 14,000 people and 4,990 solar lanterns (which can provide light and power for over 20,000 people).
  • HMS Ocean has been loaded 5,000 hygiene kits, 10,000 buckets and 500,000 aquatabs, all UK aid funded.

  • nine tonnes of food and water procured locally on Monday 11 September for onward delivery. Thousands more shelter kits and buckets are on the way from UK shortly.

  • The UK has helped to distribute water bottles to 700 of the most vulnerable households affected by Hurricane Irma on the British Virgin Islands.
  • The UK government is being supported by companies in the private sector, including:
    • Thomson and Thomas Cook who have delivered over 8,000 buckets on commercial flights
    • Virgin, who offered free transport to dispatch relief items including 1776 shelter kits, to Antigua yesterday. Today (Tuesday), we expect another 288 kits to fly the same route with them.

Breakdown by Islands

British Virgin Islands (BVI)


  • Royal Marines from RFA Mounts Bay have got the airfield operating so we can get more aid and personnel in.
  • Over 200 troops are on the ground – including engineers, medics and marines are working with the local police to provide security


  • 16 Caymanian police and 6 Bermudian deployed to assist with security.
  • There are currently 47 UK police officers on BVI to support law and order. They arrived Monday 11 September. 7 are planned to go.


  • 5 tonnes of food and water has been transferred to the BVI.
  • 640 shelter kits are in transit via the RAF.

FCO and consular support

  • The UK has now taken responsibility for providing support to affected people – of all nationalities – in BVI.
    FCO media officer on the ground to support the Governor’s office. Additional 4 consular officers and 1 IT Support officer on standby



  • RFA Mounts Bay delivered 6 tonnes of emergency aid; rebuilt and secured the Emergency Operations Centre; restored power to the hospital. Over 70 military personnel are on the ground.


  • 9 tonnes of food and water will arrive over the next 48 hours.
  • DFID has deployed a team that includes two humanitarian advisors to support relief efforts.

Consular support

  • Anguilla has not requested UK consular support.  The local government is leading on this. One IT Support officer on the ground.
  • Cayman Islands Government is arranging a 736-100 aircraft to deliver personnel and equipment (including medical equipment) to Anguilla.

Turks and Caicos


  • Over 70 military personnel are on the ground.


  • DFID has deployed a field team to support relief efforts. Two humanitarian advisors are already on the island.

Consular support

  • The UK has now taken responsibility for providing support to affected people of all nationalities.
  • FCO media officer, consular officer and IT support officer on route to support the Governor’s office.


Consular support

  • We are regularly updating our travel advice.
  • The Foreign Secretary has spoken to Governor of Florida Rick Scott.

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