What’s happening in Puerto Rico?
Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico and its neighboring islands in the Caribbean devastated. The first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall on Puerto Rico since 1932, Maria has caused massive shortages in food, clean water, fuel, and power – including 85% of the island’s cellphone towers, complicating relief efforts for millions. The New York Times reports that it could be four to six months before power is restored. Severe flooding continues to threaten the island, and the closing of air and sea ports has made evacuation near impossible. “It is nothing short of a major disaster,” Governor Ricardo Rosselló told CNN.
For people experiencing homelessness, every night is a fight for survival. In times of national disaster, they’re even more vulnerable. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services notes that people experiencing homelessness are more likely to have a negative reaction, be it physical or psychological, to a disaster situation than the general public. Furthermore, national disasters can dramatically increase the homelessness rate in a matter of hours – leaving a lasting impact.
Here’s what you can do to help.
The loss of power and cell towers, combined with Puerto Rico’s island geography, has effectively cut off the island from the rest of the world. Emergency responders and service providers have been nothing short of heroic, and they need your support now more than ever. The best and most immediate way to help is by making a financial donation.
- While its main focus is on promoting innovation by connecting Puerto Ricans abroad to those on the island, this local nonprofit has also started a fund to help victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
- This massive international crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits and donors is providing emergency supplies like food, water and medicine to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. All donations to this fund exclusively support hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.
Unidos por Puerto Rico
- This initiative, from Beatriz Rosselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico, enlists private sector help in providing aid to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Donations are accepted through a variety of means, including PayPal.