Six months after Hurricane Maria, too many people on the Island are still struggling to survive without power, a roof over their heads, or potable water as they continue to wait for FEMA’s aid. Approximately a quarter of Puerto Rico’s residents are still in the dark. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 1 in 10 customers still will not have power by the end of March. The unofficial death count stands at over 1,000. Thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans are still stranded in hotels on states across the country that are grappling with the massive influx of families from the Island.
FEMA has started cutting off transitional housing benefits for many homeless Puerto Ricans who have nowhere else to go. It prematurely ended new shipments of food and water supplies to Puerto Rico in January and only delivered 50,000 of the 30 million meals it was required to get to Puerto Ricans after hiring a woefully inexperienced contractor to do the job.
Join us this March 20 on the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Maria to demand FEMA and the administration start providing the Island with the same rapid and efficient delivery of aid that other American disaster zones have received. We gather together for our voices to be heard.
#Power4PuertoRico Coalition members include:
Center For American Progress Action Fund
Center for Popular Democracy
The Hedge Clippers
Hispanic National Bar Association
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
Make the Road CT
Make the Road New York
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
We believe that:
-FEMA needs to start tracking its progress in Puerto Rico and providing the public with honest metrics about where recovery efforts stand.
-Congress should hold hearings to investigate FEMA’s work in Puerto Rico and hold the agency accountable for its mistakes.
-Congress must allocate additional funds towards helping Puerto Rico — current funding still falls short of the estimated $95 billion it will take to rebuild and the additional funding needed to make sure evacuees have the support they need.
-President Trump and DHS are ultimately accountable for FEMA’s failures and must fulfill their responsibility to oversee FEMA and ensure the adequate distribution of aid.