Over a Million New Yorkers call Puerto Rico home, so the devastation of Hurricane Maria has hit home with many New Yorkers. The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico in a state of emergency. The Island’s infrastructure has been destroyed. FEMA reported Tuesday that only 11 of 69 hospitals had power, and Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said only about 5% of the island’s power grid was operational. Less than half the population had potable water. Cell service was out in 95% of the territory. Many people have lost their homes causing more issues for a population already dealing with poverty. Of the estimated 1.6 million housing units on the island, only 1% have flood insurance and about half have wind insurance. Many homes are passed down from generation to generation, and there are only an estimated 500,000 mortgages. With more than half the 3.4 million people living below the poverty line, insurance may not make the list of bills locals want to pay. What is making the rescue and recovery operations extremely difficult in Puerto Rico was the slow response of the federal government to aid and resources to the people affected by Hurricane Maria and the damages many ports suffered throughout the island, it has been extremely hard to provide supplies to the island because there is nowhere to collect and receive supplies on the island.

Many New Yorkers have rushed to the aid to the People of Puerto Rico. Mayor De Blasio stated that We cannot do enough for Puerto Rico,” “We have more and more and more we have to do. We have to be committed to Puerto Rico for the long haul. This is part of us. Puerto Rico and New York City have been joined together for generations and we owe it to the people of Puerto Rico who have gotten a raw deal in many, many ways. We owe it to them to step up.” Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo has stated that helping Puerto Rico is personal for New Yorkers, that it is governmental, ethical obligation, and personal obligation for him. Many New Yorkers and Puerto Ricans have been upset at President Trump’s response in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Many people believe that President Trump response was not as urgent as it was for Hurricane Irma and that he was not focused on Puerto Rico as he should have been, and that he has politicalized the issue instead of providing solutions.

If you would like to help and provide donations to the people of Puerto Rico, you can check out these websites posted below:

Unicef USA
Red Cross
World Vision
Help Now NYC
Hurricane Maria relief: how New Yorkers can help Puerto Rico and other disaster victims
How to help victims of Hurricane Maria in NYC