February 28, 2018–Five months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, many island residents remain vulnerable as recovery has only just begun. Some experts say the death toll continued to rise for months after the storm due to disaster conditions, and many residents are still without power and lack access to proper medical care, food, clean drinking water and rebuilding materials.
Operation USA remains committed to the people of Puerto Rico at this time. After delivering water purification supplies and making cash grants to community-based partners in recent months, OpUSA this week launched a shipment to the island to further aid in recovery. Yesterday, water storage tanks, generators and lighting equipment, medical supplies, flashlights and batteries, coolers, water purification supplies, umbrellas, towels, clothing and other relief and recovery supplies left the OpUSA warehouse for Puerto Rico, where they will be received and distributed by partner organization Food For The Poor. Thank you to all our supporters who made this shipment possible. To further support relief efforts in Puerto Rico, visit give.opusa.org.
See photos from the shipment here.
November 7, 2017–This week, Operation USA delivered two $25,000 grants to community-based partners in Puerto Rico. The Flamboyan Foundation–which has leveraged outside investment to cover administrative costs at this time so 100% of donations go directly to recovery efforts–will utilize the funding to support their ongoing humanitarian efforts. This hard-working group also continues to support schools as they work to resume classes and act as community resource hubs, and to advocate for the rebuilding of the island’s educational system. The Center for a New Economy–which has already delivered more than 747,000 lbs of relief supplies through 10 distribution centers to 46 communities–will utilize their funding to further address immediate humanitarian needs. CNE also facilitates advocacy efforts to ensure maximum federal support and works to bolster economic development. Your donations are directly supporting these wonderful groups’ humanitarian efforts as this resilient island recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
November 3, 2017–While much of Puerto Rico remains without power, and impacted communities lack access to clean drinking water and reliable food sources, OpUSA has begun delivering cash grants to partners on the ground. We are prioritizing community-based groups who are on the front lines of food distribution and the provision of supplies of which there is high need at this time. Your donations have made this important work possible. Support our efforts in Puerto Rico now at give.opusa.org.
October 6, 2017–Operation USA has confirmed it will ship water purification supplies for 1,000 families to Puerto Rico this weekend. The water bags and purification chemicals will leave New Jersey on Saturday via donated corporate jet. OpUSA also continues to connect with hospital and clinic partners in Puerto Rico for possible shipment of hospital equipment and medical supplies to the area.
September 25, 2017–As Maria–now a tropical storm–moves north along the United States’ eastern coast, millions of people in Puerto Rico are reeling from the hurricane’s destruction. The island is completely without power after electrical infrastructure was totally destroyed, and millions of people have no way of communicating as phone systems are down. Reports this morning have quoted some residents saying conditions are “apocalyptic,” and Governor Ricardo Rosselló has warned of a worsening “humanitarian crisis” on the island. Meanwhile, additional threats remain as some dams have been overwhelmed by floodwaters and are at risk of failure.
Residents whose lives have been upturned by Maria are anxiously awaiting aid, as relief agencies are scrambling to arrange material aid shipments and to deploy staff. Logistical challenges–including the lack of power and challenges in getting people to Puerto Rico–are proving difficult at this time. Conditions are most critical for the island’s already-vulnerable populations, as hospitals and medical facilities are without the power and supplies they need to maintain patient care.
Operation USA remains committed to helping relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. To support our response, visit give.opusa.org.
September 21, 2017–Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm yesterday, battering the U.S. territory with extreme winds and heavy rainfall. The entire island is now without power, and some reports say it will be weeks, even months, before service is restored to more than three million people. After more than 30 inches of rainfall, some areas are experiencing extensive flooding, and officials warn that flash flooding and mudslides are still a risk as the storm pulls away from the island.
Puerto Rico’s largest airport is expected to re-open this week, allowing both relief aid to be delivered and survivors to flee the island, which has experienced devastation unlike anything seen in the last 100 years. The storm hit the island during a major recession, and already-vulnerable conditions across much of the territory have been severely exacerbated by the storm. It will take many years for residents to recover.
Operation USA is committed to providing relief and recovery support to Puerto Rico in the wake of this devastating storm. Donate now at give.opusa.org.
September 19,2017–Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica last night as a Category 5 storm. It is expected to maintain intensity and hit Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands this week as a Category 4 or 5, and experts predict the storm’s slow speed will cause hurricane conditions to linger for an extended time. Early reports from Dominica say the island has been “decimated” by the hurricane. Islands still in the storm’s path are preparing for the worst.
The National Hurricane Center today urged residents of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to “rush preparations to completion” in advance of the storm. The Center also forecast that Maria may be the worst hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, residents are reeling as the second potentially catastrophic hurricane in two weeks bears down.
Operation USA continues to monitor the storm while also assisting relief and recovery efforts in Texas, where Hurricane Harvey caused unprecedented flooding, and in Florida and the islands, where Hurricane Irma brought destruction just two weeks ago. We will continue to assess needs as the storm moves toward the US, and will provide aid as opportunities allow. To support these efforts, visit give.opusa.org.
September 18, 2017–Hurricane Maria, now a Category 4 storm, continues to gain strength as it heads toward land. The storm–with heavy rainfall and 120mph winds–is forecast to make landfall this evening on Martinique and Dominica, in the Caribbean. Maria is expected to intensify and may become a Category 5 storm before directly hitting Puerto Rico later this week. Many people across the Caribbean and the southwestern US, having faced Hurricane Irma’s wrath last week, now may be again impacted by another catastrophic storm.
Puerto Rico’s governor has issued a state of emergency in advance of the storm’s impact. All those in the hurricane’s path are being advised to prepare accordingly and/or evacuate. Operation USA is monitoring the situation and will assess damage and prepare to provide aid as opportunities allow.
This is a developing situation. For the latest updates, click here.