Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief – What’s left to do and what you can do to help

By Faye Higbee

Puerto Rico was left devastated by first Hurricane Irma and then Maria. All the bashing of President Trump by the leftists won’t change how badly damaged the island was after the storm. The US sent ships, heavy equipment, troops from every military branch, water, supplies and even the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, along with FEMA and numerous Aid agencies. But the process of recovery is taking longer than most people would like, hence all the political wrangling you read about.

Governor Ricardo Rosselló stated that he would like power to be restored to at least 80% by December 15. That in and of itself is a tall order. The Army has contracted out debris removal to the locals, in order to keep as much money on the island as possible. (They need it). With trees and power lines down all over the island, restoration of electricity is slow going.

The island is still experiencing a dearth of drinking water as well, while waste treatment plants remain mostly offline. Only 72% of the island has clean drinking water as of October 16, according to The Hill.

Fuel was another great need, but as of this morning, the Puerto Rico website tracking the recovery effort stated that slightly over 78% of the gas stations were open.  Lines should be abating. You can track the progress of Puerto Rico recovery at Status Puerto Rico.

How can you help? There are many ways. Wilmington Response in North Carolina has been working nonstop since Hurricane Harvey to gather supplies and get them to where they are needed…and Puerto Rico is no different. You can check out Nick Hiteshew and their efforts on his Facebook Page. Remember he helped Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children with supplies for both Harvey and Irma.

You can also volunteer with groups involved in the recovery effort. As with any large organizations, it is often frustrating to see their procedures seemingly not get to the people who need help. But that doesn’t always mean the organizations are totally bad, it just means that rules for larger groups are not as easy to navigate as smaller ones. For all those involved in the recovery effort, it takes everyone to do their part.

It may take at least a year for Puerto Rico to recover- the more help they have, the quicker it will happen.

Featured photo: USAF Airmen from Dover AFB load water destined for Puerto Rico