From the AP:
The U.S. ramped up its response Monday to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, even as President Donald Trump brought up the island’s struggles before Hurricane Maria struck — including “billions of dollars” in debt to “Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”
The Trump administration has tried to blunt criticism that its response to Hurricane Maria has fallen short of its efforts in Texas and Florida after the recent hurricanes there.
Five days after the Category 4 storm slammed into Puerto Rico, many of the more than 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory were still without adequate food, water and fuel. Flights off the island were infrequent, communications were spotty and roads were clogged with debris. Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month…
In Washington, officials said no armada of U.S. Navy ships was headed to the island because supplies could be carried in more efficiently by plane. The Trump administration ruled out temporarily setting aside federal restrictions on foreign ships’ transportation of cargo, saying it wasn’t needed. The government had waived those rules in Florida and Texas until last week…
Energy Department crews are working in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, coordinating with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, FEMA and a team from the New York Power Authority, among others. An eight-member team from the Western Area Power Authority, an Energy Department agency, assisted with initial damage assessments in Puerto Rico and has been redeployed to St. Thomas. A spokeswoman said additional responders would go to Puerto Rico as soon as transportation to the hurricane-ravaged island could be arranged…
Here are some donor suggestions, via commentors to yesterday’s post:
Charity Navigator has a list of Charities Providing Assistance in the Wake of Hurricane Maria
So does the Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Carribean & the Americas: FAVACA
All Hands Volunteers has a link dedicated to US Virgin Island Hurricane Response
Commentors who’ve adopted dogs from Second Chance Animal Rescue of Puerto Rico speak up for that group’s volunteers, and the many rescues they’re sheltering.
Multiple commentors also recommended ShelterBox USA: “ShelterBox provides shelter and life-saving supplies to communities overwhelmed by disaster, including people affected by the recent Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. They are actively evaluating needs in the Caribbean after Hurricane Maria and in Mexico following recent earthquakes.”
Habitat for Humanity:
“We appreciate that you are anxious to help, but please do not self-deploy. Shelter, food and water are in limited supply and the arrival of unexpected volunteers adds to an already strained situation. Volunteers from outside the immediate area will be needed, now is just not the time.
Habitat for Humanity has trained disaster response personnel on the ground now as a part of the initial response and assessment, which includes basic cleanup work. The next phase will be to repair and rebuild. This will take months and could take years to complete. These efforts are often the most difficult as media attention tends to move on before the work has even really begun. Please don’t let timing discourage you from being a part of the hurricane recovery efforts.
In the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes, it is important to give first responders and trained disaster responders the space and resources they need for their work. But as we move into the long-term rebuilding phase, we’ll be counting on volunteers to help, just as they have so many times before. Sign up below to join our hurricane recovery volunteer registry. This will give us the ability to keep you up to date on the situation, and call on you as volunteer teams prepare to deploy…
Global Giving’s Puerto Rico & Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund
Operation USA — “Give and it gets there”
Please add your own suggestions below — and forgive me if I missed your comment yesterday.