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Hurricane Maria Relief Information

Together with our partners, the Red Cross is providing food and water, helping reconnect families and mobilizing thousands of relief supplies, including comfort kits, blankets and cleanup kits.

Red Cross Relief Efforts Continue in Wake of Deadly Storm

Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean in late September 2017, causing catastrophic damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands and across Puerto Rico, where it was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in more than 80 years.

Three months after Maria battered the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the Red Cross and our partners continue to provide critical assistance to affected residents. For hurricane survivors, recovery will be a long and arduous journey.

Read our 3 Month Update >>

In Maria’s wake, residents of these heavily impacted U.S. territories faced devastating losses to homes and crops, as well as long-term challenges due to damaged infrastructure. People across the islands were left without power, phone service and safe drinking water.

Since Maria struck, Red Cross volunteers and employees have been visiting impacted communities, delivering bulk food supplies like rice, beans and fresh produce, drinking water, cleanup supplies, tarps and comfort kits with hygiene items. We are also providing critical health and mental health services to people with urgent needs. And while Puerto Rico’s shelters are operated by the government, we opened shelters for residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands who had been forced from their homes.

Due to the difficulties in restoring communications following the storm, many families also have had a hard time connecting with friends and relatives on the island or stateside. The Red Cross has provided satellite technology, portable generators, laptops and power strips on reunification trucks that traveled around the island, giving residents the opportunity to charge phones and communicate with loved ones. This assistance makes a real difference in the daily lives of hurricane survivors.

Providing Ongoing Support as Hurricane Survivors Recover

For hurricane survivors, recovery will be a long and arduous journey. In Puerto Rico, families face unique recovery challenges due to widespread infrastructure damage that has resulted in long-term loss of access to power and clean water. Distribution of bulk food, water and emergency relief supplies on the island will continue well into 2018. In addition, The Red Cross is developing recovery plans to assist with the most urgent needs of hurricane survivors, with a focus on four key pillars—access to power, access to clean water, livelihoods restoration and community health.

The Red Cross aims to not only help affected residents cope with difficult circumstances while infrastructure is being restored, but also to help them become more resilient and self-sufficient. Many people lost homes and livelihoods to Maria, with income-generating agricultural crops decimated by the storm. Along with helping provide survivors with access to power and clean water, we will provide support to restore their livelihoods, for example, through microgrants to small businesses and skills training in home reconstruction and agriculture. Finally, the Red Cross will use recovery funds to support public health and mental health training and initiatives for impacted communities.

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