Puerto Rico - Hurricane Response and Recovery

Bishop Morales in Puerto Rico credit Food for the Poor Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma, which preceded Maria on September 6, 2017, also heavily damaged the outer islands of Culebra and Vieques. With support from Episcopal Relief & Development, the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico quickly delivered food and water, clothing, temporary housing, medical care, first aid supplies and home repair materials to approximately 600 people on these islands.

Before Hurricane Maria made landfall, Episcopal Relief & Development sent emergency support to help the diocesan staff provide assistance as quickly as possible. Food, water and medical supplies were distributed to approximately 70,000 people in key areas outside of San Juan. In addition, the support to the diocese included resources for temporary housing, meal deliveries and a new generator.

As needs assessments continue in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Episcopal Relief & Development is also providing support for food, water, medical and pastoral care, communications equipment, transportation, fuel and generators.

Xavier Castellanos, an Episcopal Relief & Development representative, is accompanying the Diocese of Puerto Rico as it continues to assist in the distribution of supplies and to strategize the next phases of the response. Castellanos and the diocese are working collaboratively with other relief networks in Puerto Rico, including Food for the Poor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Home Depot, to supply emergency items and shipments to affected residents.

Supplying generators and water purifiers are top priorities, particularly for those living in remote areas. Teams of medical personnel visit cities and towns outside of San Juan and additional medical missions are planned. Areas for recovery are continuing to be identified while a detailed assessment of vulnerable communities is currently underway.

Photo: Food for the Poor