Hello friends and family. As I am sure you are aware, Puerto Rico was just devastated by the enormous Category 4 Hurricane Maria - the most powerful storm to hit the island in more than 80 years - creating a major humanitarian emergency. On the island of 3.4 million, most are now without electricity and 80 percent of its transmission lines were damaged. 90% of cellular phone service is also down and 42% of people are still without water. I was fortunate enough to be off the island when the storm hit. The same cannot be said for many friends, neighbors and virtually every one of its residents. Recently, I reached out to the local newspaper in my home town of Norwalk, Connecticut who was kind enough to help raise awareness for this campaign.
In addition to the deployment of emergency response teams, Americares has also been working with the Puerto Rico Department of Health to stock emergency shelters in San Juan with necessary medical equipment and vital supplies. Since the storm, torrential rains have caused historic flooding, and mass evacuations may be necessary in the event of a possible dam failure. Americares, and likeminded organizations, are beginning the difficult task of assessing the many health system needs and planning for a lengthy recovery.
The 3.5 million people who make up the population of Puerto Rico are fellow American citizens facing a legitimate Humanitarian Crisis. Please take a moment to read more about the situation and donate what you can towards your fellow Americans.