Hand In Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief’ was a one-hour program which was broadcast live at prime time on all of the major TV networks in the United States. Celebrities of the American entertainment industry participated in the program which was also streamed online by social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The program had initially been planned to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey and subsequently, Hurricane Irma was added because of the large scale devastation caused by both the Hurricanes in the US and Caribbean.

The devastation of Hurricane Irma spread from the eastern Caribbean up to the southern states of the United States, and it happened within days of Hurricane Harvey that dumped rain mercilessly on southeast Texas. It left at least 70 people dead.

The participants

Sky News reports that it was a stellar crowd with the biggest names in the American entertainment world in attendance. Some of the stars shared stories of people who had faced the fury of the twin natural disasters that struck the United States and narrated experiences of surviving and saving lives in the hurricanes.

By the end of the show, the amount pledged over the phone stood at $14-million, as revealed by host Billy Crystal. The proceeds will be distributed to charities like Save the Children and Comic Relief USA.

Houston rapper Bun B and talent manager Scooter Braun are the names behind the Hand in Hand event. It was the same team that conducted a concert in aid of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing. It was a terrorist attack in the UK that claimed 23 lives.

Devastation of the two hurricanes

Harvey has left at least 71 confirmed deaths, and the economic losses could run into billions.

The uninsured homeowners will feel most of the losses. During the four-day period, some areas of Texas received more than 40 inches of rainfall and the floods inundated multitude of homes and displaced thousands of people.

Irma was the second hurricane to strike the United States within a few days, and it left at least 55 dead across the Caribbean and the US.

The cost of damages here also is expected to be in billions.

These are the ravages of nature and can be attributed to climate change. Weather plays a major role in maintaining the balance of nature and when hurricanes strike, it is time to sit up and take notice. Global warming cannot be wished away, and as glaciers melt and sea levels rise, coastal regions face the fury of hurricanes and floods. Climate change must be taken seriously; otherwise, many more ‘Hand in Hand’ programs would be required.