Emergency management veteran Scott Lewis has helped disaster victims in Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Bahamas through his local nonprofit.

Spared the brunt of a catastrophic storm, Palm Beach County locals were rallying Tuesday to bring relief to Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas.


Chief among them is emergency management veteran Scott Lewis, a West Palm Beach landscape company owner who has helped rescue and serve disaster victims in Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Bahamas and other stricken areas through his local nonprofit.


>>RELATED: Constant updates from Hurricane Dorian


Working with the West Palm mayor’s office, the city’s Downtown Development Authority, area restaurant groups and other locals, Lewis’ Eagles’ Wings Foundation has kicked off an extensive disaster relief mission that includes gathering supply and monetary donations and running rescue/recovery flights powered by a fleet of civilian aircraft.


Lewis, who is founder and president of the disaster-relief charity and has taken part in dozens of hurricane relief missions, is directing the operation from his 30,000-square-foot West Palm warehouse. His volunteer group plans to start delivering medical and essential supplies to storm victims Thursday.


"The immediate biggest need is rescue operations, and that will be an ongoing thing," Lewis said, speaking by phone from the warehouse Tuesday.


Reconnoitering flights to inspect runway conditions on at least nine Bahamian cays will start Wednesday morning, says Lewis whose mission counts with 40 civilian airplanes, two Black Hawk-like helicopters and a ramp-equipped Mini C-130 cargo plane that can make fuel deliveries.


As for the collection part of the mission, Eagles’ Wings will start receiving donations from the public Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, Lewis and a group of about 10 volunteers were already packing pallets of goods to be flown to the Bahamas from area airports including PBIA and Lantana Airport.


What kinds of supplies are needed? Tarps, camp stoves, small barbecue grills, butane cans, solar lights, battery operated lights, batteries, hammers and nails, wrenches, bleach, mosquito spray and nets, air mattresses with pumps, bedding, towels, personal hygiene items, toilet paper and tissues, medical items like antibiotic ointment, Advil, Tylenol and similar over-the-counter, pain-relief medication and bandages.


"No used clothes, please," said Lewis. "None will be accepted."


The main donation site is the warehouse at 514 E. 14th St., West Palm Beach. Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Wednesday, the warehouse will take in bulk and individual donations. (To make a monetary contribution, visit www.ewfrelief.org.)


Supply donations also can be dropped off at these restaurants starting Wednesday: Pistache French Bistro, The Regional Kitchen, Rocco’s Tacos and PB Catch.


For those who may be skeptical that their donated supplies will fail to reach the intended destination, Lewis has this message:


"We have a solid 20-year history at final-mile delivery. That is usually the biggest gap in any disaster relief mission, the final mile. But I have been deployed to 34 hurricanes and this is what we do."


Lewis’ past missions include rescue/relief operations following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake and the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill that same year. In 2015, he flew to the Bahamas after Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin overstayed its visit there. Then in 2017, Lewis traveled to Houston for the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, to Key West after Hurricane Irma and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.